How To Be More Influential: The Golden Rule

Treat others the way you would like to be treated. 

The world would be a far more peaceful place, if more Homo Sapiens took this to heart. Unfortunately, we often don’t. This has left me to ponder the following:

IF it’s likely that my good manners and etiquette will not be reciprocated, what is the worth in continuing to extend them?

Adhering to proper etiquette in all situations and being a shining example of good manners does more for us, as individuals, than those that benefit from our graceful actions. Not to mention the emotional and social advantages of exuding grace and proper decorum.

Etiquette & Influence

Etiquette and manners have a very practical function: making life more convenient, efficient, and pleasant. How? They force you to live outside your head and consider other points of view consistently from a practical perspective.

This is a highly valuable skill.

A skill that is becoming rapidly lost in the echo-chamber and microcosms we create via social media. Rare skills are highly sought after and exponentially more powerful when deftly put to use in everyday life.

Knowing how to anticipate the needs, actions, and emotions of others and adapting your behavior to make your interaction with them as advantageous and as pleasant as possible can positively and powerfully change the kind of customer service you receive, professional networks, your marriage, romantic relationships, finances–anything and everything.

This is not a matter of being a “people pleaser” nor a doormat. An confident woman who is able to accurately asses the emotional and logistical needs of others and herself is not one to ever underestimate.

As Maya Angelou stated:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

We live in personal and professional economies arranged by relationships. How you make people feel often dictates how willing they are to work with you, speak on your behalf, support you, partner with you, or oppose you.

How do you affect how people feel?

Etiquette.

Indirect self-reflection

Understanding how you and your actions are viewed, through a variety of world-views, can allow you to gain a broader perspective on your own state-of-being. That perspective is beneficial in its own right: you’ll see your personal strengths and weakness from a variety of viewpoints, which helps you overcome biases you have against yourself.

Being in the habit of thinking outside of yourself and your needs, to accommodate those of other people, actually increases your use of all of your personality traits and and strengths in a way that overly self-focused living does not.

TL;DR

Etiquette allows you to influence people around you for the better, gives your greater insight into the world you live in, and provides a multi-faceted view of your strengths and weaknesses. The Golden Rule isn’t a people-pleasing cliche. It’s a powerful skill. (Use it.)