Make Regular Deposits to Your Emotional Bank Accounts

Today is Friday, so this post is on interpersonal competence.

I first heard the expression “emotional bank account” when I read Stephen Covey’s book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  If you’re not familiar with the concept, I’ll try to explain.  We all have emotional bank accounts with all of the people in our lives – our families, our friends, our coworkers.  As we spend time with others, we make deposits or withdrawals to our emotional bank accounts with them. 

Interpersonally competent people have healthy emotional bank account balances with all of the people in their lives.  They do this by making regular deposits and limiting their withdrawals.

Here are some ways to make deposits in emotional bank accounts:

  • Take time to learn about others and understand what makes them unique.
  • Pay attention to the little things.  Little things often are the most important things in a relationship.
  • Keep your word.  If you say you’ll do something, do it.
  • Be clear about what you expect from the other person and what he or she can expect from you.
  • Be honest with your feelings.  Don’t say what you think the other person wants to hear.  Say what you really feel.
  • Apologize when you are at fault.
  • Be kind.  Treat other people with the respect they deserve as fellow human beings.

You make withdrawals when you do the opposite:

  • Treat everyone the same.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff.
  • Break promises.
  • Be unclear about what you want and need from the other person.
  • Say what you think the other person wants to hear, not what you really think and feel.
  • Don’t admit to your part of a problem.
  • Treat others with a lack of courtesy, respect and kindness.

It’s common sense – your emotional bank accounts, just like your money bank accounts are the healthiest when they have large balances.  Make regular deposits and infrequent withdrawals in all of your emotional bank accounts, and you’ll be known as an interpersonally competent person.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website to subscribe to my monthly ezine and for more common sense.  Check out my other blog: for common sense advice on leading people and running a small business.

I’ll see you around the web, and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand – my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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