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Emotional Bank Account

An emotional bank account is an account of trust instead of money. It’s an account based on how safe you feel with another person.

Covey identifies six ways to make deposits (or reduce withdrawals):

1) Understanding the Individual. This means listening intently to what the other person is saying and empathizing with how they may feel. It’s important to care for others and act with kindness toward them.

2) Keeping Commitments. How do you feel when someone arrives right on time when you have a meeting? How about when people simply do what they say they will do? You build up an emotional reserve by keeping your commitments.

3) Clarifying Expectations. We are not mind readers, and yet we consistently expect others to know what we expect of them. Communicating our expectations can help create a higher level of trust. When we ask for what we want, and we get it, we can then trust a little more.

4) Attending to the Little Things. Don’t you find that the little things tend to become the BIG things when they do not receive our attention? Doing the little things is how we honor and show respect for others. Small kindnesses, a smile, a little extra effort, a hug, doing something you didn’t “have” to: these are the things that build trust.

5) Showing Personal Integrity. Integrity is the moral floor upon which trusting relationships are built. When we operate with sound moral character, it makes it so easy for others to trust us.

6) Apologizing When We Make a Withdrawal. We will make mistakes; it’s part of life. But when you see you have violated a trust, sincerely apologizing is how we make a deposit to counteract the damage we have done.

As a leader keep a track of the transactions you have with others and see if you are investing in the Emotional Bank Account or making frequent withdrawals? 

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