The Platinum Rule for People-Focused Change Leaders

Posted Friday, January 16, 2015

Recently, we have looked at communicating change with the platinum rule for visionary change leaders and the platinum rule for “just do it” change leaders. Today’s post completes the set. We will look at how people-focused change leaders can effectively communicate in the midst of change.

Heart-oriented leaders help engage and care for others in the midst of change. In Barbara Trautlein’s model of change intelligence (CQ), coachesfacilitators and champions are high heart change leaders.

Change Intelligence


But Enough About You. What About Them?

Self-awareness about your CQ style is important, but it is only the starting point. To be effective in leading change with a variety of people, you must know their CQ and how to best interact with them. Here’s a key principle:

People don’t think much about your CQ style.
People want to be treated according to their CQ style.

Trautlein refers to this as the platinum rule: don’t treat people like you want to be treated (the golden rule). Treat people like they want to be treated.

Let’s consider a front line supervisor who is a high heart change leader – a coach. The supervisor will naturally care for people in the midst of change. When the high heart leader deals hangs out with other high heart leaders, they will talk the same language and have the same people-oriented values. They will be a cardiac care unit.

However, when the supervisor gives a status report to a senior executive who is a visionary (high head change leader), the supervisor will fail if the meeting is only about people. The executive wants to know how the change details fit into the overall vision. The supervisor needs to talk like a visionary. And, the supervisor needs to get feedback  from the executive on the strategic value of the project.

Suppose the high heart supervisor has a meeting with the change project manager. The project manager is an executor – a high hands change leader. Once again, the supervisor will fail if the focus is on people. The supervisor needs to talk like the project manager would talk. The supervisor should be pragmatic and talk efficiency. And the supervisor needs to get feedback on whether the project manager sees the practical impact and gets the plan for the change.

CQ Platinum Rule for the High Heart Leader

Bottom line: To make change happen, know yourself and know your people so you can communicate in their language. In other words, the high heart leader needs to communicate from the perspective of the target audience – head talk for head people and hands talk for hands people.

Being people-focused means giving them what they want, Slade&Associates_logo_web_mednot what you want to give. Talk their talk to create dialogue and insight for intelligent change.


One comment on “The Platinum Rule for People-Focused Change Leaders

  1. Allen,
    Way to go with the Platinum rule. You are rolling! And contributing knowledge. Very impressive.

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