People say that in business, it’s imperative to “keep your eye on the ball.” True—but it’s just as important that you keep your focus on the other person. Treat people the way you’d like to be treated and the way they’d like to be treated. To the degree that you do, you’ll build a huge group of people who will willingly follow you anywhere.

I’d like to share something with you from the book, Worldwide Laws of Life by Sir John Marks Templeton. Sir Templeton is founder of the famous Templeton Fund of Investments; upon retiring, he has devoted the remainder of his life to philanthropic and religious pursuits. His wonderful book is one of my favorite gifts to give.

In the book, the author lists a number of different sources and translations of what is commonly known as “The Golden Rule”:

Brahmanism: This is the sum of duty: do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done unto you.

Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.

Christianity: Treat others as you would want them to treat you.

Confucianism: Do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you.

Hindu: The true role of life is to guard and do by the things of others as they do on their own.

Islam: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.

Judaism: Whatever is hurtful to yourself, do not to your fellow. That is the whole of the law, the rest is merely commentary.

Persian: Do as you would be done by.

Taoism: Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.

Isn’t that fascinating? That core idea is so central to so many of the world’s religions. What an excellent philosophy to follow. And we can even take it a step further. Authors Jim Cathcart (Relationship Selling) and Tony Alessandra (The Platinum Rule) have defined what they call “The Platinum Rule”: Do unto others as they desire to be done unto!

Just because we choose to be dealt with in a certain way doesn’t mean the other person wants to be. Therefore, Cathcart and Alessandra suggest, we need to be sure to discover their buying preferences.

One of the most thought-provoking books I ever read is called the Five Love Languages. Author Dr. Gary Chapman explains that people feel loved in different ways. One partner’s “love language” might be through spending quality time, while her husband’s “love language” might be through receiving gifts or presents.

We all see the world through our own eyes (our paradigm or belief system). What’s more, we tend to assume that everyone else sees the world in the same way. So while this woman believes she’s expressing her love for her husband by spending quality time with him, and he believes he’s expressing his love for her by buying her gifts, neither of them is actually feeling loved by the other! And they have no idea that what they are each doing for the other has absolutely no effect.

As Dr. Chapman suggests, it’s not about what you need to feel loved, it’s about what your partner needs. It’s doing unto them as they would like to be done unto!

You can apply this principle to working with the people on your business team, too. How does the person in your organization want to be taught? Regardless of whether you respond better to encouragement, to straight talk, or some other approach, it’s up to you to find out how they best respond.

We all know how important it is for you to be able to gently and effectively persuade newer associates to attend the major conferences, so they can learn how to build the business both through education and association with others.

When talking with a person who considers himself or herself a leader, you can promote the fact that “all the leaders will be there.” To the one who is oriented toward information and facts: “This is where you can get all the latest information.” If the person is a party-goer: “You should see the incredible parties and dinners the company puts together for us!”

See what I mean? Effective business, in this case, means appealing to that person in the way they want to be done unto. Persuaded as they want to be persuaded. It means simply honoring what’s important to them—which is not necessarily the same thing as what’s important to you.

I recall attending a huge banquet for one of my network marketing clients on the final night of their convention. I had spoken that afternoon and was sitting at a table with nine other people. One of the diners said that the reason he came to the event was that his upline (who knew this would be a selling point for him) kept on bragging about this huge dinner the leader throws every year.

Was that really the determining factor for this person to come? Yes, it was! Now, it was all the knowledge, wisdom and positive association he got out of the function that then put him well on his way toward building a profitable business. Yet without his having been appealed to through the prospect of this great dinner, he might not have gotten all those benefits.

What about the people who really didn’t care about social function? If this leader had thumped on this dinner over and over to those who were not as excited about it, he would have turned them off and possibly even caused them not to attend!

As a leader, what you want to do is determine what each person will find attractive and compelling about the convention. Of course, on a conference call or in front of a roomful of people, you can touch on all the appealing points—but then in person, focus more on each individual point with the person to whom it appeals.

BOB BURG is a faculty member of Networking University and a
frequent speaker at networking conventions.