“Let me suggest six major deposits that build the Emotional Bank Account.
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 deposit. You simply don’t know what constitutes a deposit to another person until you understand that individual. What might be a deposit for you—going for a walk to talk things over, going out for ice cream together, working on a common project—might not be perceived by someone else as a deposit at all. It might even be perceived as a withdrawal, if it doesn’t touch the person’s deep interests or needs.
One person’s mission is another person’s minutia. To make a deposit, what is important to another person must be as important to you as the other person is to you.
2-Attending to the Little Things
The little kindnesses and courtesies are so important. Small discourtesies, little unkind-nesses, little forms of disrespect make large withdrawals. In relationships, the little things are the big things.
I don’t believe age or experience makes much difference. Inside, even within the most toughened and calloused exteriors, are the tender feelings and emotions of the heart.
Keeping a commitment or a promise is a major deposit; breaking one is a major withdrawal. In face, there’s probably not a more massive withdrawal than to make a promise that’s important to someone and then not to come through. The next time a promise is made, they won’t believe it. People tend to build their hopes around promises, particularly promises about their basic livelihood.
I believe that if you cultivate the habit of always keeping the promises you make, you build bridges of trust that span the gaps of understanding between you and your child,” (and others).
It would be rare indeed if anyone has not experienced a commitment or promise broken. It feels like being punched in the gut when it happens.
My most recent experience, which I think I’ve written about before, is a politician, in a position of authority, who made a commitment to support my endeavors to remedy problems with a government agency. Unfortunately not once did this “official” support actions that I took that would have remedied the situations. As expected, my Emotional Bank Account was emptied by his lack of action/support, and his failure to recognize it and apologize for it.
Covey’s six major deposits should not be ignored. They are powerful actions when developing meaningful interdependence.
Next week the remaining Deposits will be presented and commented on.
Next: Habit 4
Six Major Deposits (4 through 6)