Suggestions to live by for collaboration

Suggestions to live by for collaboration

Recently I was struck by comments made by a friend of mine with four points he made about how he had taught his children to get along with others. I was so impressed with these four suggestions that as I consider how to collaborate with others, I wanted to share them with you. You can think how you may apply these suggestions to promote understanding and collaboration at work and at home.  Perhaps you may want to share these with others. Let me know what you think. I welcome your thoughts and suggestions.




The golden rule

You are likely familiar with the golden rule that says, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. This works well when we are of the same culture, background, diversity, and understanding.  In an instance like this we likely understand our norms. In business we understand our mission, vision, values, and goals. We have a blueprint so to speak, because we have a very clear understanding. However, when you don’t then you may want to think and explore further. Consider taking this a step further with the platinum rule.

The platinum rule

The platinum rule requests you take the golden rule a bit further and states, “treat others how they would like to be treated”.  The question becomes how do you know how the other party would like to be treated? This may take some observing, inquiring, listening, and understanding. Let me share an example with you.

I am a Christian. My next-door neighbors are Muslim from Somalia. They celebrate Ramadan every year with a month of fasting and no drinking of beverages from sun up to sun down for a month. By the way I live just north of the 45th parallel so that means in June we have nearly 16 hours of daylight. When Ramadan falls in June that makes for a very long day without food or water.

My wife is an avid baker making various breads and cookies to give away nearly every week. Understanding Ramadan, it would not be appropriate to bring over fresh bread or cookies in the middle of the day during Ramadan. However, that would also mean that she would need to know the neighbors are Muslim and gain insight on Islam. It would also mean that she would need to be understanding, do some investigating on where our neighbor is coming from during Ramadan, and be sensitive to their needs. It becomes necessary to inquire further and listen.  This requires developing a relationship and some due diligence. This is something you might want to consider too.

Religious overtones

Many of you may be familiar with the story of the good Samaritan and the need for you to love your neighbor. This story goes on to explain who is your neighbor, and to be there for your neighbor in times of need.  You may also be familiar with the ten commandments and some of the elements of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.  Here is one version in a shortened commentary of the ten commandments:

  1. I am the Lord thy God: thou shalt not have strange Gods before me
  2. Thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
  3. Remember to keep holy the Lord's Day
  4. Honor thy father and thy mother
  5. Thou shalt not kill
  6. Thou shalt not commit adultery
  7. Thou shalt not steal
  8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor
  9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife
  10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods

The golden rule, the platinum rule, and the ten commandments are examples of rules to live by. However, I want to share with you four suggestions brought to my attention  by a friend of mine that I think can be very valuable to you and your team to promote collaboration.


Four suggestions


Here are four suggestions with some commentary for your consideration.

  • Pay attention
  • Care
  • Make a positive difference
  • Consider the wellbeing of others

Pay attention

Pay attention – Think about what his means. If you are paying attention in school, you are apt to learn more. If you are paying attention with what you are doing, you may see how you are impacting others up, down, alongside with peers, and outwardly with other stakeholders at work and in other environments. By paying attention to what is going on around you with others, you may see the world in a different light.


Care- care for yourself to address sleep, food, water, exercise, and maintain and nurture relationships. That’s right maintaining and nurturing relationships may be even more important towards happiness. Have balance in your life and consider balance in the life of others too as you request the services of others.

Make a positive difference

Make a positive difference – In turns out that self-sacrifice, giving back, retuning what you have learned and earned to make a positive difference in the lives of others is very fulfilling. Doing even small things like picking up litter, smiling at a stranger, acknowledging a homeless person, and focusing on making a positive difference will help you and others.

Consider the wellbeing of others

Consider the wellbeing of others – Consider this in terms of your family, your home, your neighbors, your community, your state, your country, and the world.  All budgets are moral budgets. Consider your budget, global issues and returning once again to you and your family.

When this was shared with me by a friend, he shared with me that the ten commandments have a lot of “thou shalt’ and “though shalt not”.   His children were fine with the ten commandments, but could they somehow be simplified. This was the result from his f discussion.




Now think about these four suggestions related to collaboration with others at work or at home. Might these four suggestions be something for you to consider? At work you likely have a mission, vision, values, and goals. In terms of collaboration might something simpler like this possibly help focus? Similarly, at home, every family has its own culture so to speak. Might these four suggestions help each member of the family better relate to each other and to those outside of the family?  Whether at work or home might these help with business metrics or family budgets, as well as identifying and evaluating social impacts and environmental concerns. This approach may help to stimulate a discussion in your group about what these mean. These for suggestions may positively impact you and your team. It is simply a suggestion, but I thought a good one that may help you be more collaborative with others going forward. Have fun with this.  

About the author

Mike Gregory is a professional speaker, an author, and a mediator. You may contact Mike directly at and at (651) 633-5311. Mike has written 12 books (and co-authored two others) including his latest book, The Collaboration Effect: Overcoming Your Conflicts, and The Servant Manager, Business Valuations and the IRS, and Peaceful Resolutions that you may find helpful. [Michael Gregory, ASA, CVA, MBA, Qualified Mediator with the Minnesota Supreme Court]