Thursday, July 23, 2015

Revised Golden Rule

Treat others the way you want to be treated. An expression that I'm quite familiar with and attempted to follow until more recently when I started to think about how selfish the Golden Rule truly is and how following it was negatively impacting my life. Treat others the way YOU want be treated. At it's very core, it's selfish and egotistical.

Not that I am one to deny being selfish. I certainly have my self centric ways and would prefer if the world were to operate under Danielle's dreams. Sadly, I don't think the British monarchy is going to be ruling the world any time soon and NYC residents won't all have to bow to my purebred non-mixed, non-rescued, labrador, Henry.

Back to reality, I started thinking about both my personal and professional lives and how they would be improved if I took on the perspective of not how I wanted to be treated, but how others want to be treated. We are all different and thankfully have our own preferences and styles. Not everyone enjoys a detailed spread sheet as much as I do and prefers the silence and solitude that I often I enjoy.

When working with others, I'm trying to be more conscious of how that person would most value our interactions. While, I would rather someone send an email than relay a message face to face potentially distracting me from my current project, I recognize that some place value in personal interactions.

I spent some time reflecting on my interactions with an individual whom I had found to be unbelievably ignorant and therefore did not value them in my life. Through a conversation, I was asked if I thought of myself as so superior to others that I could not learn something (even the most minuscule piece of information) from everyone. I certainly don't want to be perceived as pompous and started to think about how I could shift this mindset to place more value on others.

While it was be much easier to think of my interactions in terms of myself, I'm realizing that in order to build truly meaningful relationships, both professional and personal, I need to think about the other person and accommodate myself to best meet their needs.

Maybe I send a SnapChat instead of a text. Maybe I stop and have a conversation with someone in my building whom I wouldn't ordinarily speak to. Maybe I step out of my own comfort zone of introvert solitude to engage in conversations. Maybe it means asking one of the owners of the adored rescue dogs in the park, about their life as a savior and complimenting them on their pooch. Maybe I don't send so many details in an email. Maybe I look you in the eye during our meeting instead of typing every word into Google Drive to be saved as notes from our conversation.

Since I only recently became cognizant of the value of treating others how they want to be treated, I still have improving to do. Overall, since making note of this, I've seen a shift in my interactions and how I'm perceived by others. Not that I am suddenly Miss Congeniality as I certainly have my crankier tendancies, but I do enjoy the serenity that accompanies making others feel comfortable around me through my purposeful interactions (which are starting to become a bit more natural.)



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