These days, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is a hot topic for every organization, and I have been thinking about how organizations can use The Platinum Rule® to help their people feel included. I told Anne about my idea, and she suggested that I share my thoughts by writing this week’s post.
So, here we go …
Let’s imagine that organizations want to be sure that owls are reflected appropriately within their workforce. I know it’s a stretch but stay with me here – I am sure you would agree that owls would add to the diversity of any organization.
I chose owls because I am an owl.
I don’t fly with other owls; I work alone, mostly at night. I don’t function well under bright lights. I believe there is a right way to do things. I watch the details and I can see the big picture. I am a keen observer, and some say I have laser vision. I am smaller than any adult human. I don’t have fingers so it’s almost impossible for me to type. I eat what I kill. I don’t drink coffee (there is always water in my mug).
Anne had me do the Platinum Rule® self-assessment not too long ago and I learned that my profile is that of a Thinker. Anne showed me what that meant for my interaction with others and how I can best adapt my behaviour to better connect with others – particularly people.
For organizations to ensure that owls like me are treated equitably, they will provide me with special seating, dimmed lighting, talk to text software, a place to work alone (maybe even at home), flexible working hours, and they will accommodate my dietary preferences.
But how will they help me to feel included? This is where the Platinum Rule® comes into play.
Remember that virtually all humans are raised with some form of the Golden Rule (Treat others the way you want to be treated), but those who follow the Platinum Rule® (Treat others the way they want to be treated), will be much better equipped to help me feel included.
Organizations where the Platinum Rule® has been embedded in the culture, are able to welcome others, regardless of diversity. Organizations where people treat others the way they want to be treated and respect the differences between people (never mind between people and owls) will begin on a solid footing.
To make me feel included, people will need to accept my differences, my need for accommodations and respect my Thinker style. For example, they will allow me to speak slowly and purposefully without interrupting me, allow me time to process information and not insist on an immediate response, be open to my observations, accept that I work best alone without labeling me anti-social.
They will also need to share their Platinum Rule® profiles so that I can treat them the way they want to be treated; then I can adapt to their preferences and participate fully with the team.
What do you think?