We’re all well-versed in the Golden Rule: Treat others how you wish to be treated.
But what about a lesser-known, differently hued law?
“The Platinum Rule is to treat others how they wish to be treated,” said Jackie Insinger, a Denver-based leadership and team dynamics coach and owner of Insinger Insights.
Insinger and Kaley Warner Klemp, a Boulder-based expert in small-group dynamics and leadership development, founded Enjoy Success a year ago to accelerate women leaders’ growth. During Women’s Weekend of Wellness at The Broadmoor March 7 through 10, they’ll work to help women identify their values, increase their confidence and decipher their “superpowers” for better performance and fulfillment.
There’s no escaping the romance that infiltrates February, thanks to Valentine’s Day, a holiday equally loved and loathed.
Whichever camp you’re in, it can’t hurt to brush up on a few relationship skills.
Insinger is big on “courageous communication.” That doesn’t mean asking how somebody’s day was. It’s more about the questions that often go unasked. For example, when somebody’s upset, it’s checking in with, “What do you need right now?”
“It’s — instead of what you think is helpful or would help you — asking: ‘How are you feeling about this? How can I help you?’ Somebody could surprise you and say, ‘I just need you to sit next to me,’ or ‘I need some time alone,’ or ‘I need some teamwork on this,’ or ‘Just listen without giving me advice.’”
Successful relationships require being present with each other and tuning in. The No. 1 reason couples come to Insinger is to connect on a deeper level and learn how to support each other and be supported. It can be challenging with the day-to-day chaos we all face, but it’s non-negotiable if a couple want to make it work.
“It’s not about a certain amount of time or way to do it, “ said Insinger. “Some people can spend three hours on a hike, or watch a show together or have a date night. It’s whatever works for you. You just have to prioritize that relationship.”
Some folks believe the first few years of a relationship should be easy. But a relationship takes energy, even in its infancy, which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not meant to be, she said.
But, “If there’s a lot of trouble, and you don’t align on values and goals and how you want your life to be, those are big things. And then, yes, I see them as a red flag.”
Another big misstep is expecting to see eye-to-eye forever. Sure, everyone’s got their rose-colored glasses on at the start, when you agree on everything, and the future seems golden. But then life happens, you disagree on some things, and it terrifies you. This doesn’t means the relationship is doomed, Insinger said. It’s all part of the process.
“We change and evolve, but the expectation is that we still see things the same way. We’re supposed to grow and change. We support it in our friends, kids, peers, co-workers, everybody but the person you chose to spend your life with. It’s scary to think they’re going to change.”
She encourages people to go into the relationship knowing that the other person is bound to evolve, and the solution is to keep recommitting .
“Keep building that bridge and reconnecting and remarrying,” she said. “It’s not if we’re going to get through this, but how we’re going to get through this. Knowing this is part of the journey.”
If both people are willing, rarely will the relationship fail.
“In my experience, if both partners want to remarry their spouse, there’s great success all the time,” Insinger said. “It’s both people tuning in and knowing it’s not always easy. You have to put in the work to reconnect. But if one person isn’t willing, the other can’t carry it on their own.”