Let’s be honest here;
Most of us have grown and developed by this rule. Many have had it drummed into us by parents, teachers and supervisors throughout our childhood and into our working life: If people are just like you, then that’s great, and it does create a standard of acceptable behavior that we can all use as a guide. We all have our own set of rules in regard to how we would like to be treated and therefore are able to easily apply those principles to others.
Ultimately, if the person you are applying to it is just like you, this is a beautiful concept.
Now here’s the catch:
Most of the people you work with are not going to be like you, they may not even like you. They come from different backgrounds, have different aspirations, daily needs and preferences, and are in different stages of their own development, both personally and professionally.
If you assume similarities where none exist, the outcome can often result in unrealistic expectations and conflict.
A person coming into a management position, who prefers a hands off approach from his/her manager, with broad outcomes defined but freedom to choose a direction would naturally assumes that his/her subordinates prefer a similar management style. Imagine the conflicts and confusion that could occur if, her subordinates prefer a more hands on approach that involves extensive feedback!
Neither approach is right or wrong, but they are indeed very different.
Here’s the new rule:
Let’s not treat others the way we want to be treated, but treat others the way they want to be treated. Dispense with the stubborn attitude of being right or wrong and look at it as an opportunity to build a solid working relationship with your colleagues. Your staff will be more responsive, happy in their own skin and you will get what you need out of them.
So remember, when the atmosphere in your working environment doesn't feel right, ask yourself;
Is this the effect of what I have caused?
How would I react if I were treated this way?
How would I feel?
But ultimately - Always treat others with respect - appreciate and embrace the differences.
Respect is earned, not given.