In any relationship there is an emotional bank account between the parties.
This short video explains how to keep your accounts topped up.
One of my favourite leadership ideas comes from the work of Stephen Covey. He calls it ‘The Emotional Bank Account’.
In any relationship, inside or outside the workplace, there is a conceptual bank account between the two parties. And every time we say something kind, every time we say something nice, every time we say something respectful, we make a deposit in that emotional bank account.
Every time we find fault, every time we criticise, every time we blame, we make a withdrawal. And so long as there is a good balance, the relationship can withstand disagreement and conflict without any loss of enthusiasm.
However, if the balance is low or perhaps overdrawn, and we then make a withdrawal, then the relationship can break down and conflicts can spiral.
If you have a strained relationship with someone, make a deposit in their emotional bank account and do it repeatedly. Slowly, over time, the effects of those cumulative deposits will help to transform that relationship.
And do take time to top up the emotional bank accounts in your strong, high-value relationships. That is what will continue to make them strong.