Follow the platinum rule and improve your communication skills with Englishcafe

Almost all of us have heard of the golden rule (“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”) but applying this to communication may hinder your ability to get your message across. For these instances, try the platinum rule: “Deal with others the way they would like to be dealt with”. Considering this norm is like understanding that you cannot speak Turkish to a Spaniard and expect him to understand you unless he knows the Turkish language.

As you know, there is much more to communication than words. Some studies conclude that non verbal cues influence more than 90% of our message.

The way you convey your message should be modified depending on the personality type that is on the receiving end. Many psychologists agree that there are four different styles people fit into when communicating: “Analytical”, “Amiable”, “Expressive” and “Driver”.


The “Analyticals” and the “Amiables” tend to require you to speak slower and clearer, whereas the “Expressive” and “Driver” styles need the conveyer to speed things up. The “Amiables” and “Expressives” are more people driven and feel comfortable with physical contact. In contrast, “Drivers” and “Analyticals” prefer to focus on the tasks at hand and don’t appreciate you bringing up personal stuff when in a work environment.


Notes on expressions and vocabulary used in this text

Hinder /ˈhɪndə/: make it difficult for (someone) to do something or for (something) to happen.
“language barriers hindered communication between scientists”synonym:
hamper, be a hindrance to, obstruct, impede, inhibit, retard, baulk, thwart, foil, baffle, curb, delay, arrest, interfere with, set back, slow down, hold back, hold up

Convey /kənˈveɪ/: to communicate, impart, make known.
“You need to convey the message accurately” synonym: communicate, pass on, make known, impart, relay, transmit, send, hand on

Get (your message) across (Phrasal verb): Make yourself understood. Convey your message so that the receiver understands what you are saying.“The message seems to be getting across perfectly”

Fit in (Phrasal verb): Fall into a certain category or have the right characteristics that match or that are compatible with something or a group of people.“I don’t fit in with my neighbours, they are so noisy”.

Task at hand (Expression): Assigned work to be done.


Would you like to learn more? If you would like to practise your English while learning how to improve your communication skills, try one of our Englishcafe lessons. They’re much more than an English speaking conversation class, they’re sessions on how to communicate effectively. Try the “Englishcafe” method, learn different …

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