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Do You Know Me and The Platinum Rule?

Some time ago, I was brainstorming ideas and words for core values with a client. He mentioned the platinum rule in our conversation, and while I had heard of this rule in passing before, I asked him,  “How can you improve on the simple ‘Golden Rule’ classic?”  –Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.– It’s a common phrase used for years and literally ingrained in our brains from youth. My client went on to tell me the basic concept of the platinum rule, “Treat others the way they want to be treated” and why it is considered to be a higher rule than its predecessor “Golden.” He had recently read the book “The Platinum Rule.” I loved the concept so much and hadn’t read the book myself yet, so I called Kirk to explain how the platinum rule can be applied to improve dental practices across the country. Kirk said the platinum rule can be applied with the team members we work with, the patients we serve, and literally anyone we come in contact with on a daily basis.

Here are 3 ways to amplify the Platinum Rule to improve your practice:


“Become an active listener by physically leaning in,” Jenni Poulos shared in our recent Mastering Verbal Skills Series. Jenni Poulos and Kirk Behrendt advised the best language to use, specifically, questions to ask to get to know our patients better in part 1.  We simply can not know how someone else wants to be treated until we get to know them first. “Figure out what people expect by asking great questions,” Kirk recommends.

Are you intentional in the conversations you have with members of your team? Are you physically leaning in as they converse with you? By doing this, you increase your knowledge of the individual, about their preferred communication and love language styles.

“It takes a level of emotional IQ,” Kirk stated. “To understand how people prefer to receive information.”  We partner with and utilize the products available from Wiley and Everything DiSC because the participants receive personalized insights that deepen their understanding of self and others, making workplace interactions more enjoyable and effective.” When we use hints and clues from our daily behavior and plug them into the unique DiSC formula, our preferred personality and communication style emerges in an easy-to-read profile. Listening to fellow team members as they decipher which behaviors are true to them, and which are not, from this profile, is truly game-changing.


Shift your Mindset

We need to intentionally shift our mindset from the golden rule to the platinum rule. Notice the golden rule focuses on yourself, its basis is selfish. How do YOU want to be treated? The platinum rule, however, focuses solely on others and morphs the selfish mindset to be selfLESS.  The focus changes from “This is how I want to be treated, so I will treat everyone in that way” to “How can I understand what they want, and then I’ll tailor my behavior to honor that.”

Kirk introduced the third rule to me, which took this concept to an astounding level! He explained there are 3 levels of service with the “rules.”

  1. The Golden Rule: “Treat others how you would want to be treated.”
  2. The Platinum Rule: “Treat others the way they want to be treated.”
  3. The Double Platinum Rule: “Treat others the way they don’t even know they want to be treated”

We have the privilege to know incredible doctors and practices that embody the double-platinum rule. Kirk has story after story of the incredible acts of service happening in countless private dental practices. If you are a general practice owner and you send your patient over to your specialist, perform a basic check-in call. “Hello, Mrs. Jones! I was just thinking about you because I know you were at Dr. Periodontist’s office and had an implant placed. Just wanted to see how you were doing?”

Another example from a story I’ve heard Kirk recite many times, a doctor didn’t work Fridays, but he would show up at his referring periodontist office every Friday morning, and he would personally escort his patients into the office, then introduce them in person!

These are true examples of the double-platinum rule, ultimately meaning they not only met their patient’s expectations, but they also EXCEEDED them.

Lean on your Core Values

Kirk reminds us, “Don’t start with a process, start with a value. All roads will lead back to one of your core values.”  They’re called core because they truly are who you are, and behavior stems from each one. We lean heavily on ours here at ACT. One of our core values is “Give>Get.” When our work and service go back to our core values, it becomes easier.

My client and Kirk helped to open my eyes to this concept. It’s been months since the initial conversation, yet adapting to the idea continues to be a work in progress. We are human and don’t change overnight! Grant yourself grace as you shift into the “Platinum” and “Double-Platinum” mindset. I’ll leave you with Kirk’s last thoughts,  “The goal of this shift is not to get you more patients. The goal is to help you to create something truly remarkable with your team, with your patients, and all you come in contact with.”  By shifting to a “platinum” mindset, you can realize a Better Practice and a Better Life!

About the Author: Heather Crockett is a Lead Practice Coach at ACT Dental. She is also a dental hygienist, motivational speaker, and writer. With over twenty years of serving in different roles in dentistry, she combines her experience to provide our community with best practices for a better life.

Kirk Behrendt

Kirk Behrendt is a renowned consultant and speaker in the dental industry, known for his expertise in helping dentists create better practices and better lives. With over 30 years of experience in the field, Kirk has dedicated his professional life to optimizing the best systems and practices in dentistry. Kirk has been a featured speaker at every major dental meeting in the United States. His company, ACT Dental, has consistently been ranked as one of the top dental consultants in Dentistry Today's annual rankings for the past 10 years. In addition, ACT Dental was named one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States by Inc Magazine, appearing on their Inc 5000 list. Kirk's motivational skills are widely recognized in the dental industry. Dr. Peter Dawson of The Dawson Academy has referred to Kirk as "THE best motivator I have ever heard." Kirk has also assembled a trusted team of advisor experts who work with dentists to customize individual solutions that meet their unique needs. When he's not motivating dentists and their teams, Kirk enjoys coaching his children's sports teams and spending time with his amazing wife, Sarah, and their four children, Kinzie, Lily, Zoe, and Bo.