I recently had an experience that really got me thinking about the age-old saying, “Treat others as you would like to be treated.” It’s such a simple concept, yet in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it’s easy to forget. I was reminded of this in a rather unexpected way through a message from a client.

The message was brief and to the point: “Now the INSERT WEBSITE NAME site is down. Please have tech take care of ASAP. We have filled out several speaker requests for keynotes and need the site live.” On the surface, it was a straightforward request for urgent assistance, but it struck a chord with me. The tone was curt, almost commanding, lacking the usual pleasantries or understanding that sometimes accompany communication.

This got me reflecting on how we interact with others, especially in situations of stress or urgency. It’s so easy to let our frustrations or anxieties spill into our words and forget that there’s another human being on the receiving end. In the rush to get things fixed or demands met, we might overlook the power of a simple ‘please’ or ‘thank you.’

I couldn’t help but think, if the tables were turned, how might my client feel if they received a message like that? Would they feel motivated and valued, or would they feel like just another cog in the machine, expected to jump at every command? 

This experience was a real eye-opener for me. It highlighted the importance of not just what we communicate, but how we communicate it. It’s easy to say, “Treat others as you want to be treated,” but to practice it, especially under pressure, is a whole different ball game.

So, I took this as a learning moment. Instead of reacting defensively or taking the message to heart, I chose to respond with the understanding and respect I would hope for in a similar situation. 

From this little incident, I’ve made a renewed commitment to apply this golden rule in all my interactions, be it with clients, colleagues, friends, or family. It’s about building a culture of respect and empathy, one interaction at a time.

And maybe, just maybe, this approach can have a ripple effect. If we all make a little effort to communicate with kindness and respect, imagine the kind of environment we could create – in our workplaces, in our homes, and in our communities. 

Let’s not underestimate the power of treating others as we wish to be treated. It might just be the key to building stronger, more positive relationships in every aspect of our lives.


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