Welcome to this issue of "Dr. T's Timely Tips" by Dr. Tony Alessandra. Please send your feedback to info@alessandra.com!

Introducing The Platinum Rule - A Modern Model for Personal Chemistry!

Absolutely not! The Golden Rule has as much "glitter" as ever. I believe and practice it 110%, especially when it comes to values, ethics, honesty and consideration. However, when it comes to interpersonal communication, it can very well backfire. The Golden Rule states: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Basically translated, that says to treat others the way you would like to be treated, which of course isn't always the case. See my personal story to the right.

An addition to the Golden Rule is The Platinum Rule: "Treat others the way they want to be treated." The focus of relationships shifts from "this is what I want, so I'll give everyone the same thing" to "let me first understand what they want and then I'll give it to them."

The goal of The Platinum Rule is personal chemistry and productive relationships. You don't have to change your personality. You simply have to understand what drives people and recognize your options for dealing with them. The Platinum Rule divides behavioral preferences into four personality styles: Director, Socializer, Relater, and Thinker. Everyone possesses the qualities of each style to various degrees and everyone has a dominant style. The key to using The Platinum Rule is understanding what a person's dominant personality style is and treating him/her appropriately.

Next month's Platinum Rule tip will be the first of regular monthly charts comparing traits of the four Platinum Rule personality styles, but to get you started thinking about the concept, here is a very basic breakdown:

Directors are driven by two governing needs: to control and achieve. They are goal-oriented go-getters who are most comfortable when they are in charge of people and situations.

Socializers are friendly and enthusiastic and like to be where the action is. They thrive on admiration, acknowledgment, and compliments. They are idea-people who excel at getting others excited about their vision.

Thinkers are analytical, persistent, systematic people who enjoy problem solving. They are detail-oriented, which makes them more concerned with content than style. Thinkers are task-oriented people who enjoy perfecting processes and working toward tangible results.

Relaters are warm and nurturing individuals. They are the most people-oriented of the four styles. Relaters are excellent listeners, devoted friends, and loyal employees. They are good planners, persistent workers, and good with follow-through.

The Platinum Rule provides powerful life-skills that will serve you well in all your relationships: business, friends, family, spouse, and children. Stay tuned for an in-depth analysis of the four personality styles every month!

Here's to more personal insight,


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Origins of the Platinum Rule

I was born and raised in Manhattan. Back in 1976, I moved from the East Coast to San Diego. There I practiced The Golden Rule - "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." In other words, I treated the people in San Diego as I, a New Yorker, wanted to be treated. How that backfired!!! I came on too strong, too fast, too aggressively, too "in your face" for the people of San Diego. Even when I asked people to do things they would have normally done for me, they would say NO.

That's when I realized that it wasn't what I was asking them to do that prompted them to say NO - it was how I was asking them. I learned to respect the differences in others and adopted the philosophy of The Platinum Rule - "Do unto others as they would have you do unto them." Once I finally "got it," I started treating the San Diegans as they liked to be treated - I slowed down my pace, lowered by voice volume, and became less aggressive and more accommodating. It worked!