ArticleMay 18, 2022by included

Is the Golden Rule insufficient for true inclusion?

Many of us were brought up with the Golden Rule: ‘treat others as you would wish to be treated.’ However, in order to be truly inclusive, we should try to adapt to others.

Therefore, we can instead adopt the Platinum Rule: ‘treat others how they want to be treated.’ This means we adapt ourselves to the needs of others, rather than expecting them to adapt to our norms. This adaptation is central to inclusive leadership.

An example from Included, global D&I consultancy, Associate Consultant, Maria Lee, highlights the importance of considering and understanding the needs of your colleagues on video meetings.

Recently scrolling through my LinkedIn feed, I came across a post about the benefit of having cameras off to support concentration for neurodivergent colleagues. This can be due to overstimulation or the energy required to process non-verbal cues from multiple people in gallery view. 

However, the very next post was a colleague thanking someone for flagging in a meeting that cameras off meant she was unable to lip read.  This was a real challenge as she had some hearing loss and the use of visuals was a great help to her.

We could see this as confusing, but instead we can see this as a very clear example of  the imperative for us to understand the needs of our colleagues and not what we assume is helpful.”

It’s important to create an open dialogue and consider the range of needs in your organisation in order to foster an inclusive workplace. Join the conversation on LinkedIn.