Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Building a Balance in Emotional Bank Accounts

Stephen Covey in his popular book "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" discusses the process of making "emotional bank account" with those we love. These are not only important with friends and families, but for building trust within teams.

Over at Philosophers' Notes there is an excellent summary (post and audio) of these "six major types of deposits that build the Emotional Bank Account", repeated below:
  • Understanding the Individual. Few people actually take the time to listen to and understand someone. Be one of those people. Slow down. Seek to understand.
  • Attending to Little Things. Do you consistently do the little things to show your love? Little forms of disrespect are large withdrawals. Make little deposits of kindness all the time.
  • Keeping Commitments. Keep your Account high by honoring your commitments. One of the easiest ways to make huge withdrawals is to not keep your word.
  • Clarifying Expectations. A cause of most relationship challenges is rooted in conflicting or ambiguous expectations around roles and goals. Take the time to clarify.
  • Showing Personal Integrity. Integrity includes but goes beyond honesty. Do your actions truly line up with your words? Be integrated. Make big deposits.
  • Apologizing Sincerely When You Make a Withdrawal. Learn how to say “I was wrong. I’m deeply sorry.” It takes a huge amount of character to apologize sincerely and quickly. Do it.
 As you think about your closest relationships and about the teams you are a part of, how are you doing at building up the emotional bank accounts of those you love and serve with?

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