“Emotional Bank Accounts”

I don’t think it’s always helpful to look at the world in a transactional way because it ignores the role of transformation. But for the post today, I think in the the idea of “Emotional Bank Accounts”, it is a useful metaphor for relationships. It comes from Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits for Highly Effective People:

“If I make deposits into an Emotional Bank Account with you through courtesy, kindness, honesty, and keeping my commitments to you, I build up a reserve. Your trust toward me becomes higher, and I can call upon that trust many times if I need to. I can even make mistakes and that trust level, that emotional reserve, will compensate for it. …When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.

My friend who works with challenging young people told me a story about how he’s worked on building up trust with a group of troubled youths for months. Yet, one day last week one of his superiors managed to destroy all the hard work in one fail swoop, due to a misunderstanding.

How easy it is for our relationships with others to breakdown from poor communication! It is so much easier to “withdraw” than invest in our relationships.

Is there something you can do today to make a “deposit” in the Emotional Bank Account of someone important in your life?