emotional bank accounts

Emotional Bank Accounts: A Few Thoughts From Our President, Jeff Russell

First off, a shout out to Joe Curtis, our COO, for recommending The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey – the son of Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and some other excellent books. These are all great reads, so I definitely recommend checking them out if you haven’t already. 

Okay, so back to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens… In the book, Covey talks about Emotional Bank Accounts. While the book is written with teens in mind, I believe this concept applies to everyone. 

The concept is simple: 

  • To proactively build trust in a relationship, one makes deposits 
  • Conversely, by not building trust, one makes withdrawals


Since our words have so much meaning, I would add that there are different values to both deposits and withdrawals. For example: 

  • If you say to your child, “I’m really proud of how hard you worked before that exam,” that might be a $10 deposit. 
  • If you say to your child, “If you had studied harder, you would have gotten an A instead of an A-,” that is a $50 withdrawal.


Studies also show (you already know what I have to say about studies) that you need five positives for every one negative. 

In important relationships, we have to keep the bank balance positive versus overdrawn to keep those relationships healthy and thriving. 

Over the next week, think about how we can help someone else’s emotional bank account grow and how impactful your words are to others as it relates to the level of trust they have in you. Words can leave a wake behind you, some bigger than others, so keep that in mind before you speak. 

Thanks again for the book recommendation, Joe! 

Life is good. – Jeff 

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