Pretty much every religion or philosophy has some version of the Golden Rule, otherwise known as the ethics of reciprocity. Sometimes it’s not in our power to give people what they want — a raise, time off, or a get-out-of-jail-free card. But we can always treat people the way we want to be treated — with respect, kindness , and honesty. This works whether you are taking someone out for a gourmet meal or telling them they have spinach in their teeth. A little love goes a long way.
As a boss, I’ve had to let good people go through no fault of their own. They are still my friends to this day because I simply put myself in their shoes and was truthful when I gave them the bad news. I was empathetic about what they were going through. And I tried to do for them what I’d want someone to do for me, even if it just meant giving them some time to absorb the bad news or some privacy to collect their thoughts.
Most of us learned some version of the Golden Rule on the playground. It still works. And for anyone who supervises others, it’s still golden.
Follow Bob on Twitter @bpriestheck.