Personal Development

Emotional & Personal Bank Accounts

Stephen Covey provided a framework for maintaining a positive balance in people’s emotional bank accounts. The framework is a cornerstone to productive interdependent relationships.

Interdependent relationships are 2 people who are dependent on each other and realise that, together, they are better, yet neither relies on the other for individual success.

There is a difference between the personal and emotional bank account.

Emotional Bank Account

The emotional bank account is a metaphor for the relationship you have with another person. Understanding the other person – how they think, how they feel, how they respond and react – is key to a productive and fruitful relationship. Emotional Intelligence is key when you need to make a deposit into someone’s emotional bank account.

When there are constant deposits into the emotional bank account, this creates security and trust is developed. When there are more withdrawals than deposits, this causes stress and anxiety and trust becomes depleted. Occasional withdrawal wont affect your emotional bank account if there is a healthy, consistent amount of deposits.

How do you deposit into someone’s Emotional Bank Account?

Being emotionally intelligent allows you to be aware of yourself and others and how to manage that relationship. When you understand the impact you have on others and the environment around you, that is the first step to either enhance yourself or it allows you to be more mindful of you behaviour. This is the same for others around you. This will then help you understand how to manage the relationship and interaction.

Once you understand the relationship, you can now make deposits into their emotional bank account by:

  • Keeping your promise/commitment
  • Being honest and transparent – showing integrity
  • Apologising genuinely when you are wrong or making a withdrawal
  • Showing you genuinely care
  • Attending to the small things
  • Showing respect and being respectful
  • Building trust
  • Communicating openly

Building trust is one of the key components to making deposits as well as maintaining meaningful relationships. This will help when you need to make a withdrawal – when you are upset, need to ask for something or have a disagreement. When you have made more deposits than withdrawals, the foundation of your relationship/interaction will not be threatened when you make the withdrawal. The emotional bank balance is still healthy and stable.

Personal Bank Account

Similar to the emotional bank account, this bank account is about YOU and your relationship with yourself. In order for you to have great relationships and interactions, you must first have a good relationship with and within yourself.

Are you kind to yourself and not being overly critical of yourself? Do you hold yourself accountable in a healthy way or do you blame others? Do you get things done when they need to be or are you lazy?

Having a good relationship with and within yourself forms the basis of how you will thrive in society.

How do you deposit into your personal bank account?

To maintain a healthy personal bank balance, you must have confidence within yourself and be happy with who you are. This comes through positive self-talk and having positive influences around you. This does not mean there will not be any negative situations, it just means, with a healthy bank balance, you are able to deal with negativity more constructively.

You can also:

  • Be proactive
  • Begin with end in mind
  • Put first things first
  • Be kind to yourself
  • Follow through
  • Tap into your talent and passion
  • Build yourself up – keep learning
  • Keep it real with yourself always
  • Exercise
  • Eat healthy

Once again emotional intelligence is key in ensuring you are aware of your strengths, areas of development, your feelings and your thinking preferences. Once you fully understand who you are and what adds to you, you are able to surround yourself with stimuli that will help you maintain your healthy bank balance.

Find out how you can reach your full potential here.