Leadership Mindset Shift #6: Treat Others As They Want To Be Treated

Posted on April 5, 2023 by Nate Regier / 0 comments
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Regardless of how you define leadership, one of the most basic roles of a leader is to influence people towards a common goal. Influence comes in many forms, both positive and negative. The greatest influencers, across all professions and industries, recognize that understanding your audience is the key, otherwise known as WIIFM, What’s in it for me?

If you surveyed the leaders in your organization, how would they answer these questions?

Have you ever;

  • Noticed that different people are energized by different things? 
  • Offered praise or recognition to an employee and they didn’t seem to appreciate it or respond as you expected?
  • Struggled to maintain your own energy and motivation?
  • Noticed that some people follow you easily while others don’t? 
  • Learned about different personality types but wished you knew how to actually motivate them?
  • Struggled to implement incentive systems that actually inspire people to perform better?

It starts when we are children with the message, “How would you feel if someone treated you that way?” With the best of intentions we appeal to empathy, often paired with The Golden Rule, “Treat others as you want to be treated,” as a way to influence different behavior. 

Many leaders continue to follow this rule into their professional lives. Along the way, they have embedded the following philosophy of motivation: Use your own perspective and experience as a guide when trying to motivate others. 

With this philosophy, at best, leaders will be able to positively influence people who are just like them. More likely, they will fall into the trap of a one-size fits all approach, assuming that everyone is motivated like them. This can result in:

  • Surrounding themselves with people just like them
  • Incentive systems that work for some, but demotivate others
  • Lack of innovation
  • Discriminatory hiring and advancement practices

Are you experiencing any of these problems in your organization? Are your leaders adept at individualizing motivation, or are they stuck in a trap of projecting their own motivational needs onto others?

Shifting your leadership mindset about influence and motivation can make all the difference. Here is the sixth of eight mindset shifts that can transform a leader’s effectiveness.

Leadership Mindset Shift #6

Treat others as they want to be treated: The Platinum Rule

Treating others as they want to be treated means individualizing how we treat others based on their motivational needs. 

Different Strokes for Different Folks

The Process Communication Model (PCM) identifies six distinct personality types that we all have in us, arranged in a preferred, set order. Each type has unique motivational needs, in born hungers that must be met in order to function effectively. For each person, one of these six types, called the Phase, is the primary source of motivation. A personalized PCM Profile will identify our Phase type.

This isn’t about selfish wants, it’s about in-born hungers that must be satisfied in order to thrive. Tapping into each person’s unique motivational needs gives leaders considerably more positive influence and strategies for self-care.

Recognition of Person and Sensory

Recognition of Person means knowing you are unconditionally appreciated for who you are as opposed to what you do. Sensory motivators are about recharging with things that feel good, smell good, sound good, taste good, and look good.

Motivate these people by showing you care about them as a human being and fostering a safe, supportive and friendly environment.

Recognition of Productive Work, Time Structure

You thrive on productivity and efficiency. Planning and accomplishing tasks are intrinsically rewarding. Time Structure means you value time and how it is spent.

Motivate these people by enlisting their logical thinking and problem-solving skills. Even better, help them use their time efficiently and productively.


You love to interact with novel and stimulating things in order to get your creativity flowing. Movement, play, and unexpected interactions fuel your brain and give you energy.

Motivate these people by making it fun.


You need unstructured and uninterrupted time to yourself. In a crowd or in a park, you can retreat to a quiet place inside to recharge.

Motivate these people by giving them the space and time to recharge.

Recognition of Principled Work, Conviction

You want to know you are doing work that matters. Your work is a reflection of your values, so you are motivated when you can see evidence that you have contributed to advancing what’s most important. Conviction motivators are about respecting your core beliefs and values. 

Motivate these people making clear the connection between their values, their contribution and the highest principles of the organization.


You need a lot of excitement in a short period of time. You thrive when the unexpected happens or when you have to rise to the challenge.

Influence these people by challenging them to do something exciting that helps the team rise to the occasion.

Which one of these most fits you? What about the people you lead? Which type of motivation is most difficult for you to appreciate and incorporate into your leadership toolbox? In most cases, 80% of our leadership struggles revolve around 20% of our people.

Practice the Platinum Rule, Watch Productivity and Engagement Soar

Imagine the possibilities if you tailored incentive strategies for Phase motivational needs? What about how you approach performance management, talent development, or compliance? What about marketing, sales, and customer service?

Shift Your Mindset To Become A Better Leader

Learning how to positively influence and motivate different personality types is the focus of one of the modules in the PCM Leadership Program.

In this module, leaders will learn how to:

  • Improve your own energy and motivation.
  • Help your people feel more appreciated, motivated, and energized.
  • Increase your positive influence and credibility as a leader.
  • Improve employee engagement, motivation, performance, loyalty, and connection to your mission.

Contact us today to find out more about how PCM helps leaders recognize and maximize the critical intersection between communication and personality.

Why Choose the PCM Leadership Program?

People skills are the primary leadership differentiator: being able to connect, engage, resolve conflict with and motivate anyone are essential leadership skills. Today’s leaders must cultivate their self-awareness and agility to be successful in a highly diverse, global and virtual environment. 

The PCM Leadership Program is a collection of learning & application modules that apply the Process Communication Model to solve the most common and important leadership challenges. 

Senior leaders will gain a greater understanding of how their own personality impacts their role and performance as a leader, how to adapt communication and motivation strategies to maximize the contribution of all personality types in the workplace, and how personality differences are best managed from a strategic level. 

Newly promoted and mid-level leaders will learn and apply critical social-emotional and communication competencies to improve their effectiveness in a wide range of leadership challenges such as communicating for greater impact, managing and motivating performance, dealing with miscommunication and conflict, building trust and engagement, and self-care.

We can help you assess your leadership development needs and design just the right program for your goals. Contact us today.

Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2023

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