• Dave Beam

The Emotional Bank Account

Stephen Covey shares a paradigm called the emotional bank account. In the process of relating to others, we make deposits and withdrawals into their emotional bank account.

Emotional bankruptcy occurs when my withdrawals exceed my deposits. Withdrawals are actions and attitudes that deplete trust, such as ignoring a person or minimizing their value. Gossip will deplete accounts quickly, as will dishonesty and a lack of integrity in my communication and actions.

Covey shares six specific ways I can make deposits into another person's account as follows: #1 – Seeking to understand that person by giving them my full attention and empathy in our communication. #2 – Doing little kind considerate things to demonstrate my appreciation for them. #3 – Keeping my commitments, like showing up on time and following through on communications. #4 – Clarifying expectations, in reality, creating and keeping clear agreements with them. #5 – Behaving with strong personal integrity and dependability. #6 – Apologizing when I take a withdrawal from their emotional bank account.

These are simple and easy to understand, but not always so easy to do. Our pride and independence can keep us from being focused on others. When I demonstrate love and respect for another person, that is when I fill their account. What specific deposits will you make into someone's account?

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