People Styles at Work -- And Beyond: Making Bad Relationships Good and Good Relationships Better

By Robert Bolton; Dorothy Grover Bolton | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 15

Three Keys to Good Relationships

WE HAD BEEN TEACHING style flex for several years, and follow-up evaluations six months later had indicated that using style flex helped most people make significant improvements in their relationships. Some told us about breakthroughs they’d made in difficult work relationships. Others described the positive contribution that style flex has made in relationships with their spouse and children.

However, we found that some people who used style flex were not successful in improving their relationships. When we investigated these situations, it became obvious that, by itself, style flex is not sufficient for enhancing relationships. To be optimally effective, style flex must be undergirded by a “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” orientation.


THE UNIVERSALITY OF THE GOLDEN RULE

The Golden Rule integrates much of society’s wisdom about human behavior. For example, Hillel, a renowned Jewish scholar of the first century of the Common Era, addressed a major problem facing his people. At that time, pious Jews were expected to live up to 613 commandments— 365 negative and 248 positive. It was impossible for most people to remember all the laws, let alone follow them. Hillel’s ingenious solution was to sum up all the commandments in a single guideline:

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