What Is the Platinum Rule?

You’ve no doubt heard of the Golden Rule. This mantra encourages you to treat others how you want to be treated—but is this mindset sufficient for the workplace?

Many business leaders are now following the Platinum Rule, which motivates you to treat people how they want to be treated. This difference may seem small, but this mindset shift can have a profound impact on your leadership approach.


What the Platinum Rule Means

The Platinum Rule encourages strong leadership through practicing empathy and meeting each employee on their level. Instead of focusing on your emotions and needs, this mantra requires you to speak with others, ask questions, and learn about their goals and motivations. 

In the workplace, this mantra fosters relationship building and allows you to develop a deeper, well-rounded perception of each employee. This ultimately positions your team for success as a high-performing, cohesive unit.


Differences Between the Platinum Rule and the Golden Rule for Leaders

The Platinum Rule is a highly evolved version of the famous Golden Rule. There are key differences that make the Platinum Rule more advantageous than its predecessor.

  • First, the Golden Rule is indicative of a top-down leadership approach—an outdated, hierarchical power structure that limits creativity. The Platinum Rule takes a bottom-up approach and meets people at their level.

  • The Golden Rule also approaches issues from an “I” lens, while the Platinum Rule takes a “We” approach. When it comes to team building and employee engagement, having a teamwork mindset fosters cohesion.

  • Finally, personality conflicts are real in the workplace. How one person wants to be treated can be very different from another person’s desires. Instead of taking a “one-size-fits-all” approach, the Platinum Rule encourages you to flex your emotional intelligence and meet the needs of others.


Ways to Learn to Apply the Platinum Rule Effectively

The Platinum Rule requires you to be authentic. It requires that you practice mutual respect, ask questions, and provide employees with the tools that they need to be successful.

Successful individuals make successful teams. If you want to apply the Platinum Rule effectively in your workplace, it is important to listen, learn, and practice inclusion.



The best way to apply the Platinum Rule in the workplace is to ask questions. Check in with your team regularly and ask questions to connect with them on a human level.

The following questions can help you learn more about your employees:

  • How are you doing today?

  • Is there anything I can do to help with your project?

  • Have you encountered any challenges lately?

  • What do you need from me to reach your goals?

  • What is motivating you to complete this project?

  • What do you like the most about work? What do you dislike?

  • Is there anything you want to learn or get better at?

  • What are your hobbies, goals, and dreams?



Often, we listen to conversations just to speak. This behavior, also known as passive listening, is not an effective way to learn about your team’s goals and motivations. 

Instead, practice active listening when engaging with your employees. Active listening involves making a conscious effort to hear, understand, and process what another person is saying to you. 

  • Pay careful attention to the speaker’s words.

  • Make eye contact.

  • Provide cues that you are listening, such as saying “yes” or “uh-huh.”

  • Allow the speaker to finish their thoughts before responding.



A key component of the Platinum Rule is to tailor your leadership approach to each team member. Make sure to be inclusive of your employees’ needs, aspirations, ways of working, and ways of receiving feedback. 

For example, some people thrive on public praise while others may feel embarrassed by it. Ensure that you have inclusive ways of recognizing the success of each individual.


How to Use the Platinum Rule to Become a Better Leader

Following the Platinum Rule is a true mark of leadership. By taking the time to learn about your employees and their cultures and personality types, you can build stronger relationships.

  • The Platinum Rule emphasizes clear, timely, and respectful communication skills, improving how teams interact with each other.

  • The Platinum Rule requires a teamwork mindset that respects and values each person’s unique personality type, cultural differences, and learning styles. As a result, leaders foster cohesion and trust within their unit.

  • The Platinum Rule requires leaders to tailor their leadership style to each person and situation, which can make it simpler to navigate conflicts. This can also help employees feel like their leaders value and appreciate them, their work, and their input.

People who feel happier and of value in the workplace are more likely to deliver value back to the business. To follow the Platinum Rule, ask yourself: how much do I know about my team members? How can I ensure that they can perform their best?

If you’d like to learn more about using the Platinum Rule in business, there are many books available on the topic. I recommend The Platinum Rule: Discover the Four Basic Business Personalities—And How They Can Lead You to Success by Dr. Tony Alessandra and Michael J. O’Connor.


Building Teams with the Platinum Rule

The Platinum Rule is a major upgrade from its Golden counterpart. By treating people how they want you to treat them, not the other way around, you can learn more about your team’s behaviors, goals, and passions.

In today’s workplace, the Platinum Rule fosters creativity, excitement, and success—so why not shift your mindset?

If you’d like to take actionable steps to fine-tune your leadership approach, I can help. Tap here to learn more about my business coaching services.



Do I actively listen to my team, or do I engage in passive listening?

  1. What are the goals and motivations that drive each of my team members?

  2. What actions can I take to ensure that I meet the needs of each employee?