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The Platinum Rule® [Part Two]

Last week, we started a conversation about The Platinum Rule®, the rule that says we should “Treat other people the way THEY would like to be treated.” Since then, I have observed people’s behavior to see what clues I can detect about how they would like to be treated.

One of the first things I noticed is that while most people speak at a moderate pace, some people talk way too fast for me to keep up, and I often miss what they are saying. I thought this would be a good place to pick up my conversation with Anne Miner this week.

As soon as I sat down in her office, I asked, “Have you ever noticed how some people talk way too fast? So fast that your brain cannot keep up with what they are saying?”

“Well, yes ” Anne began. “In fact, I used to be that person who talked way too fast. And, if I am not careful, I can still slip into what I call “rapid speak.”

“The first dimension of The Platinum Rule® model is the speed at which people process information, which manifests in how quickly people speak, make decisions, and take action. As you observed, most people talk at a moderate pace and process information at a moderate pace. These people need time to respond, to make decisions, and to take action.

“There is a much smaller portion of the population that speaks, makes decisions, and takes action quickly.

“According to The Platinum Rule®, when speaking with people who talk quickly, we should ALL adapt and speak more quickly - respond more quickly, make decisions more quickly. This is nearly impossible for most people to do; their brains process information very deliberately at a moderate pace.

“Since most of the population processes and speaks at a moderate pace, it is up to the people who talk fast and think fast to adapt their behavior. We need to slow down and we need to be patient.

“I am one of those people who think fast, talk fast, and make decisions quickly. And, I can get impatient with people who don’t keep up — if I let myself.

“Before I learned The Platinum Rule®, I developed a very unbecoming habit. When people did not understand what I said, I would repeat myself. I would say precisely the same words, in the same order, very slowly, and very loudly. Why? Because I thought they must be either deaf or stupid.

“As a practitioner of The Platinum Rule®, I am ashamed of that behavior. Not only is it unbecoming, it is also disrespectful.

“Today, I take great care to speak at a moderate pace, to pronounce words clearly and distinctly, and allow others to process at a speed that is comfortable for them. If I am talking to someone who speaks faster, I can move into “rapid speak,” where I speed up to match their pace, but I only do that when they make it clear to me that they prefer to speak faster.”

“Wow! Anne, I have never heard you speak too fast for me. And, I cannot imagine you being disrespectful!” I told her.

“Thank you, Edna; I appreciate that feedback,” Anne replied. “I work at applying The Platinum Rule® every day!”

Next week, we will continue our conversation. In the meantime, let’s all be mindful of how quickly we speak!

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