Monday, June 6, 2011


“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.”  
~ Anthony Robbins

Bridge Of Sighs by Anna Cervova

I have been writing the past week here and here about the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People training that my school participated in last week. Another powerful message is this idea of the Emotional Bank Account (EBA). Covey defines the EBA as a metaphor for the amount of trust that exists in a relationship.

Deposits build and repair trust in relationships. Withdrawals break down and lessen trust in relationships.

Living an intentional life is about building the relationships in our lives by consciously making deposits each day. This has nothing to do with manipulation; rather, daily deposits build up the reserve that will allow our relationships to weather the communication challenges that are an inevitable part of life.

Anthony Robbins refers to this concept as building a "bridge of communication." He says that once these bridges have been established, relationships can endure the inescapable breakdowns that will occur.

There are 2 keys to remember in making daily emotional deposits:
  1. The 5:1 rule: It may take five deposits to make up for one withdrawal. This is why we must be conscious about our interactions with others.
  2. The other person’s “currency”: Do you know the “currency” of the key relationships in your life. One fantastic book that I strongly recommend is The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. This is a wonderful book for married couples to work through together, but also provides a solid foundation for understanding other people’s currency.
So, how can you consciously choose to make deposits in those key relationships today?

How about…
  • Write a hand-written note sincerely thanking someone for a job well done.
  • Look someone in the eye and pay them a sincere compliment.
  • Be fully present when you are communicating with others. Body language is a basic currency in the Emotional Bank Account.
  • When you ask someone how they are doing, mean it.
  • Apologize when you are wrong. Apologies are a premium currency in building relationships.
  • Be loyal to the absent. If you talk about those who are not present, you are teaching others to not trust you, thus creating a withdrawal.
The funny thing about this principle is that as you make deposits in other people’s accounts, you are also making a deposit in your on account.

Above all, be conscious about building relationships. Think of this concept of the Emotional Bank Account as you walk throughout today.

Please leave comments below.


Anonymous said...

This is such an important aspect of leadership in any context I can think of. As a supervisor of adjunct faculty and TAs, I've found this to be true on the job. In the church, I think it may be even more true because there is no paycheck involved. I've seen what happens when leaders try to confront an issue in someone's life without first building relational credit. Thanks for this reminder!

Jason said...

Thanks for the comment. Good point because MOST of our relationships (especially the most important ones) do not involve a paycheck.

Anonymous said...

Excellent advice. Thank you!

Willard Harley uses the same concept in his book, His Needs, Her Needs, when he talks about making deposits in our spouses love bank.

Jason said...

Thanks for the comment. I'll have to check out that book.