There’s certain things we shouldn’t allow ourselves to get sloppy about—like how we treat one another. This is a basic human tenet. It’s at the core of all spiritual traditions and it’s what makes our United States Constitution so powerful and universally loved.

Every human being wants to be treated with respect and fairness. I want you to treat me the way you’d like to be treated and vice versa. The Golden Rule. Or better yet, I want you to treat me the way I’d like to be treated. The Platinum Rule. 

But we can get sloppy about how we treat one another and we do, if we’re not careful. Given the pace and complexity of our daily lives in which every 15-minute increment can get scheduled, and given the demands of our businesses and our jobs— we sometimes get sloppy —with our co-workers, families, friends, neighbors, and with people we don’t know.

But let’s not. Let’s not allow the qualities that make our lives honorable, enjoyable, and fulfilling erode away. Let’s take this moment in time to reinstate treating each other with respect, dignity, and fairness at the top of our lists. I grew up understanding this was the biggest part of what it means to be an American. Let’s use this moment in time to look carefully at our priorities. And let’s look at how our priorities play out in each of our interpersonal interactions.

Some of my favorite methods and models for how to operate from a position of mutual respect and interest in business can be found in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Crucial Conversations, Crucial Accountability, The Trusted Advisor, and Five Dysfunctions of a Team. For a brilliant and effective technique on how to ensure you’re treating others respectfully and fairly in your daily interactions, see “Restoring Safety” in VitalSmarts’ Crucial Conversations. It provides a proven practical method for recognizing when interpersonal “safety” (mutual respect and interest) has been violated and how to quickly and effectively restore it.