Do You Need to Make a Deposit Today? Have You Recently Made a Withdrawal? The Emotional Bank Account.

Three years ago I was actively working as an Independent Sales Consultant for Mary Kay. I had the privilege of being coached and mentored by my wonderful mother-in-law, Barbara Rosser, who has had over 28 years of experience with Mary Kay Cosmetics. Tuesday nights were our weekly Leadership Nights where consultants would come to Barb’s house to learn ways we could sell not only skin care products but how to show women they were valued and important. I learned a lot from Barb about how to lead others and I always left those meetings feeling cared for, rejuvenated, and ready to go out and try something new!

Our past blogs have been focusing on self-leadership. Now we are transitioning to leading others. One way to effectively lead others is what Stephen Covey describes as making deposits in someone’s Emotional Bank Account. Instead of a traditional bank account where a person deposits money, the Emotional Bank Account is about trust. Effective leaders take time to deposit emotionally in the lives of those they influence and this builds a culture of trust.

Covey explains six ways to make deposits:

  1. Understanding the Individual. This goes back to empathy and trying to understand where someone is coming from. Listening goes a long way to show someone you care!
  2. Keeping Commitments. When you keep your commitments people will start to trust that they can depend on you and that you are a person who can be relied upon. Barb taught me as a consultant to honor my meetings
  3. Clarifying Expectations. This builds a higher level of trust because when those we lead know what we expect up front they are set up for success.
  4. Attending to the Little Things. Little things go a long way to build trust. A smile, a word of encouragement, helping out when not asked can build trust and are simple ways to show others they are valued.
  5. Showing Personal Integrity. Only those with integrity can be trusted.
  6. Apologizing When We Make a Withdrawal. When you are in the wrong, that is known as a withdrawal. However, an apology makes up for the damage done and starts to build trust again.

Why is it important to make deposits and build trust? Because as Pope John Paul II said, “…every human being is endowed with a dignity that must never be lessened, impaired or destroyed but must instead be respected and safeguarded…” We are all children of God and in as much need to treat others with dignity.

My mother-in-law helped me learn the importance of when we make deposits in the lives of those close to us-our spouse, children, or co-workers-we show them the dignity that is theirs as a son or daughter of God and we build a culture of trust. Then when we make a mistake or hurt them in some way, it is easier to start again and mend the relationship because we have taken the time to show them we care.

If you had to rank your closest relationships in terms of “investments,” where would each stand in an emotional bank account? Which relationship in your life needs more deposits?

Here is Pat Lencioni talking about vulnerability-based trust, a great way in a work setting to make deposits in the EBA of your co-workers!

Works Cited

Covey, Stephen. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Salt Lake City, Franklin Covey, 2016.

Pope John Paul II, Address to the General Assembly of the United Nations, Oct. 2, 1979

This post is written by Dene’ Rosser.

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