There’s an enormous amount of talk about money and savings these days. But, what about our emotional bank accounts? Steven Covey’s metaphor about the emotional bank account is worth a refresher.
Covey says that relationships are determined by how we maintain our emotional bank account (EBA) with each person. We start out initially with a zero balance in our EBA, and then generally we add and subtract to that account. We add by giving compliments and having positive interactions with the person. We withdraw from the account by negative interactions.
Of course, the goal is to build up a large positive emotional bank account. Then, when we have a withdrawal, which happens, it does not bankrupt the account and the relationship survives.
Why is this important? Relationships are key to having a successful personal and professional life, i.e. our happiness depends on relationships.
How can you make deposits into your emotional bank account?
- Do what you say you are going to do. It doesn’t matter who the person is, keep your word. We receive numerous complaints at the Better Business Bureau because businesses do not follow through like they promise. The same is true for what you tell a co-worker, a friend or family member. If you say you are going to do something, do it. To fail to do it is a withdrawal from the person’s emotional bank account. Following through builds trust and adds to the EBA.
- Remember what is important to the person. Ask about that person or thing. To me, it is my family. I appreciate people asking about them by name.
- Be appreciative of what another person does. Remember to say thank you about a specific task. If possible, says thanks in front of other people. Many times that means even more to a person.
- Give encouragement. No matter if it is a spouse, boss, assistant, friend, we all need encouragement and reinforcement that we are doing well. We are human. We tend to give ourselves negative talk. That brings me to the point — give yourself lots and lots of deposits for your emotional bank account. You will like yourself better.
Tip: Thinking positively helps you add deposits to others’ emotional account — and yours. Help make yours and other’s lives richer.
How have you kept your emotional bank accounts positive?