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					Emotional Bank Account
              Sunil Gupta
               July 2010
        Emotional Bank Account
 A metaphor devised by Stephen Covey that
  describes the amount of trust that has been built
  up in a relationship.
 And just as with any bank account, we can make
  deposits and withdrawals.
 However, instead of dealing with units of
  monetary value, we deal with emotional units.
 The emotional units that Covey speaks of are
  centred around trust.
   Positive Emotional Bank Account
 Relationships need continuing deposits to
  sustain a large reserve of trust especially for
  those people you have regular interactions with.
 When we make emotional deposits into
  someone’s bank account, their fondness, trust,
  and confidence in us grows and our relationship
  develops and grows.
 If we can keep a positive reserve in our
  relationships, by making regular deposits, there
  will be greater tolerance for our mistakes and
  we’ll enjoy open communication with that
Overdrawn Emotional Bank Account
 Actions which cause withdrawals include
  discourtesy, disrespect, overreacting and
  betraying trust.
 When we make withdrawals and our balance
  becomes low or even overdrawn then bitterness,
  mistrust and discord develops.
 If we are to salvage the relationship, we must
  make even greater conscious efforts to make
  regular deposits.
           Six Major Deposits

1.   Understanding the Individual
2.   Attending to the Little Things
3.   Keeping Commitments
4.   Clarifying Expectations
5.   Showing Personal Integrity
6.   Apologizing Sincerely When You
     Make a Withdrawal
  1 - Understanding the Individual
 Really seeking to understand another person is
  probably one of the most important deposits you
  can make, and it is the key to every other
 You simply do not know what constitutes a
  deposit to another person until you understand
 What might be a deposit for you might be
  perceived as a withdrawal by someone else if it
  does not touch their interests or needs.
  2 - Attending to the Little Things
 Little courtesies, kind words and warm smiles
  are at the heart of the little things that brighten
  up a relationship.
 It shows recognition and an awareness of
 Small discourtesies, little unkindnesses, little
  forms of disrespect make large withdrawals.
 Within our relationships, if you want success, it’s
  the little things that really become the big things.
     3 - Keeping Commitments
Keeping a commitment or a promise is a
 major deposit.
Breaking a commitment or promise is a
 major withdrawal.
There is probably not a more massive
 withdrawal than to make a promise that is
 important to someone and then not to
 come through – the next time you make a
 promise, they will not believe you.
       4 - Clarifying Expectations
 A lot of relationship difficulties are caused by
  conflicting or ambiguous expectations about each
  others roles and goals.
 It is very frustrating in a relationship not
  understanding what is expected of you.
 Each of us sees life differently and has had different
  backgrounds and life experiences so may have
  different expectations.
 Many expectations are implicit.
 Fulfilling expectations makes deposits in a
  relationship and violating expectations makes
 It is important to make the expectations clear and
5 - Showing Personal Integrity
 Personal Integrity generates trust and is the
  basis of many different kinds of deposit.
 Lack of Integrity can undermine almost any other
  effort to create high trust accounts.
 Integrity includes but goes beyond honesty.
 Integrity involves keeping promises and fulfilling
 Integrity involves treating everyone by the same
  set of principals.
 One way to manifest integrity is to be loyal to
  those who are not present.
  6 - Apologizing Sincerely When You
            Make a Withdrawal
 When we make withdrawals from the Emotional
  Bank Account, we need to apologise and we
  need to do it sincerely.
 Knowing when you are wrong and admitting
  your mistakes prevents the wounds that you’ve
  caused in others from festering and allows them
  to heal.
 Sincere apologies makes a deposit.
 Repeating the same mistakes over and over
  again and then apologising will probably be
  interpreted as insincerity and will be a
 The Emotional Bank Account is a very
  helpful metaphor to help improve
 We can build trust by Understanding the
  Individual, Attending to the Little Things,
  Keeping Commitments, Clarifying
  Expectations, Showing Personal Integrity
  and by Apologizing Sincerely When You
  Make a Withdrawal.
Recommended Further Reading

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by
 Stephen Covey

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