Most parents I know taught their children about the Golden Rule when they were growing up,

“Treat others as you want to be treated.” 

It sounded like a good philosophy and the intention seems noble, however, it assumes that everyone is the same and as we get older, we learn that is simply not the case. Years later, Dr. Tony Alessandra introduced us to the Platinum Rule, “Treat others as they wish to be treated,” an idea that requires us to consider other peoples’ feelings, wants, and needs.  So, if we’re abiding by the Platinum Rule with our families and friends, shouldn’t we be using tools that help us implement it in the workplace as well?

As a psychology major and a former DiSC facilitator, I love learning about what makes people behave the way they do.  So, when The Predictive Index (PI) Behavioral Assessment was introduced to our company, through our CEO’s Vistage Group, two years ago, I was eager to learn more.    It has changed the way we hire, train, communicate with, and coach our team.

So, what is it?  In a nutshell, it’s a behavioral assessment tool that measures a person’s needs (things that give you energy) and avoidances (things that take energy away).  As of May 10, 2018, at 4:11 p.m. EST (yes, it changes by the minute), 24,296,946 people have completed the assessments.

How does it work?  An employee, friend, family member, potential employee, etc. take a “six-minute free-choice assessment” and from that, a profile is generated.  There are four drivers in PI: Dominance (A), Extraversion (B), Patience (C), and Formality (D).   For reference, I have a “Captain” profile and it looks like this:


Why is it important?  We use this assessment tool in a multitude of ways:

  1. Hiring:
    1. We create “Job Pros” using this tool based on traits that a potential candidate will need to have to be successful in this position.
    2. Since there are no good or bad profiles, we match the candidate’s profile to the Job Pro and discuss ways to tailor responsibilities and tasks that are in-line with their natural needs, as well as minimize their avoidances.
  2. Training:
    1. In a similar vein, we train new employees based on their profiles. We are essentially applying the Platinum Rule and training them as they need to be trained and not as the trainer would instinctively train.
  3. Communication:
    1. All team members’ PI charts are hanging outside of their offices or at their work stations. This acts as a reminder that when approaching other team members, the giver of information is doing it in a way that the receiver prefers.
  4. Coaching:
    1. Our leaders use this tool in coaching and recognition of their direct reports. This ensures that the feedback and recognition is received in the way it’s intended and means the most to the other person.


In your company, with your employees and peers, are you practicing the Gold Rule or the Platinum Rule?

For more information on the Predictive Index, please visit