An emotional bank account (EBA) is an account based on trust rather than on money.
We all have an account with ourselves and with others, yet most of us go through life in these four ways.
- Not knowing they have an EBA with others
- Know it exists yet do not invest the currency of trust into it
- Know it exists and invests trust into the account weekly
- Know it exists and invests trust into the account daily
The truth is, many of us are part of the first three categories. Very few people actually make it to number four. Even fewer can stay there once they reach number four.
Today I want to encourage you to help you get to #4. I want you to be someone who can invest trust in yourself and with others on a daily basis. Although hard and extremely intentional, investing in the EBA is one of the wisest things that you can do, regardless of where you are in life.
Here are my top 10 strategies for how to invest in the EBA you have with others:
Too often, we go through our days forgetting about the power of just saying hello. Sometimes we are so caught up in our own drama and thinking, that we become complacent in simply greeting another person. This extends beyond just in person as well. Reach back out to an old friend and simply say hello. Saying hello is the best way to initiate a conversation that can help build up some cash in the EBA.
Seek First to Understand….Always
Stephen Covey talks a lot more about this but I just wanted to brush on it because it is vital to the growth of your EBA. We are all in need and hurting in some way. Taking 5 minutes out of your day to seek to understand the person you are talking to is critical. Empathizing with them can help build the trust, or continue the trusting relationship which has already been built. Understanding another is similar to building additional bricks under your EBA foundation.
Like above, showing empathy is huge. Listening is just part of empathy. The next step could be something like this: “So what you are saying is that you feel this way?” Or, “It sounds like you feel like this, am I correct?”. Empathize. Summarize. Don’t criticize.
Serve Others First
An amazing way to always invest in the EBA of another is to serve. Serve their needs. Make them dinner. Treat them with a subtle surprise gift. Give them some of your time. Help them out by helping them build capacity within themselves. Serving others does not have to be complicated. But it does have to be both genuine and intentional.
Own An Emotional Withdrawl
Let’s face it. We have all taken a few withdrawals out of our EBA’s. No one is perfect and very few of us are even close to perfect. Knowing this, we need to own our withdrawals. For example, if I told my friend I would be there to pick him up to go to an event together at 5pm but do not show up until 6pm without a good reason or I simply don’t show up at all, I have taken a withdrawal out of this persons EBA. Not good. Let me put this simply. Apologize when needed, take responsibility when warranted.
Be Relationally Proactive
Being proactive in relationships is like investing in the stock market. You forecast where you should be investing, how you should be investing, then you invest. Relationships are no different. Know what others want and be proactive in getting it for them. Think ahead with them in mind. Think about what the other person wants and proactively take steps to fulfill those wants.
Relationships Before Resources
While in Alberta, one critical thing I learned is that people value relationships before resources. Having a relationally based lens with all you encounter and build EBA’s with, will allow you to have multiple relationships. People buy from who they trust. People invest in people they trust. Simply put, trust is the foundation of any relationship and that needs to be built before you try to sell something such as an idea, product or service.
Carve Out ‘You’ Time
In order to invest in the EBA’s of others, you first need to carve out time for you each week. You can’t genuinely build EBA’s without first taking care of your own emotional, physical, mental and spiritual needs. Meet the first things first in your own life each week. This will give you the capacity to build the EBA’s of others.
When all else fails, just add value. At the end of the day, we all should be adding value to others. Imagine what type of world we would have if we focused less on productivity and more on adding value? If you want to build up EBA’s, add value to others as much as possible. This doesn’t need to be expensive either. Write them a note, send them a card or give them your focused time. Give to them before you take from them.
A Chameleon changes color based on its environment. However, it is still a Chameleon whether it is green, yellow or a shade of orange. We are similar. We change as we go through life yet we are still the same person. As you change, don’t change who you are. People want to talk to the person that they know and who they are comfortable with. Be the same as the relationships you have built. Familiarity and trust go hand in hand.
This post was previously published on Medium.
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