The Golden Rule

There are many different internal compasses that people utilize to point them towards the path of morality. The most common probably still remains The Golden Rule. The Golden Rule is one of the great tenets of human rights and basic human decency. Some consider the Golden Rule to be the most universal of moral principles.

The concept and moral code of The Golden Rule is a code of behavior in which many have found a commonality upon which we all can agree. The Golden Rule simply states “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  The beauty of the Golden Rule is that it’s so incredibly simple yet profound.

The Golden Rule expresses values that are universal and timeless and is arguably the most consistent and most universal ethical principle in history. Promoting an environment of tolerance and openness in the workplace is the perfect breeding ground for establishing employee and customer satisfaction and loyalty. The culture of the company represents the values, practice, beliefs and ideals that the employees share. The Golden Rule remains the most common method to resolve ethical dilemmas and supports good business conduct.

The workplace can be challenging because you have to be open-minded and listen to the opinions of others. By applying The Golden Rule in the workplace, you can infuse your co-worker and customer interactions with compassion, forgiveness, and gratitude. It is essential in creating mutually respectable relationships that will prosper.

The struggle in applying the Golden Rule in your workplace is the same as applying any other personal improvement goal to your life. Only a powerful yet flexible principle such as the Golden Rule can serve as a moral steppingstone for anyone toward good workplace ethics.

Ethical behavior in the workplace isn’t a myth; the capacity to practice honesty, respect, responsibility, fairness, and compassion has existed in each of us since childhood. However, somewhere along the way these profound truths quietly diminished. But we can aspire to it and we can encourage others to do the same.

Ethics are about making choices that may not always feel good or seem like they benefit you but are the ‘right’ choices to make.   They are the choices that are examples of The Golden Rule. Practicing The Golden Rule and ethical behavior can grow a business, promote teamwork among coworkers, and build confidence and trust in each other. The result will be happier, healthier, and more productive workplace.

Companies that practice The Golden Rule have reduced conflict and increased morale and teamwork. Business is about more than just the bottom line. It’s about treating everyone with integrity, whether customers or employees.

To practice the Golden Rule in your workplace you can demonstrate respect with simple, yet powerful actions.

  • Build a culture around service
  • Treat co-workers and customers with politeness, courtesy and kindness.
  • Encourage co-workers to express ideas and opinions.
  • Before expressing your viewpoint, listen to what others have to say.
  • Never insult, disparage or put down people or their ideas.
  • Encourage recognition from employee to employee as well as from management.

The most successful leaders know their people and know how they need to be treated to add value and create worth. Treating employees as they expect to be treated is a cultural imperative at organizations truly committed to their workforces. Look out for the interests of others, notice them, appreciate their efforts, and recognize them in the way they want to be recognized.

The best leaders engage in behavior that promotes fairness and transparency. At the heart of the Golden Rule is compassion and consideration for others  and that is why I believe in a management style called “servant leadership,” which means putting the needs of my employees and customers first.  The objective is to enhance the growth of individuals in the organization and increase teamwork and personal involvement.

All customers want to be well served and all employees want to work in an environment where they’re respected and valued. Treat your employees how you want them to treat your customers. How you take care of your employees will have a direct impact on their interactions with customers and prospects.

The lesson for us all is to practice The Golden Rule. Treat employees as you would like to be treated and the company will be ultimately rewarded. Endearing and enduring companies are those that develop meaningful relationships with its employees that go beyond being professional to being personal.

The Golden Rule is a bedrock principle of any good company. The principles of integrity and accountability are the cornerstone of success. Ethical principles should govern our interactions with others, and the compassion inherent in the Golden Rule keeps such interactions fair and open.

Jamie Wood, Avatel EVP


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