BUILDING EMOTIONAL BANK ACCOUNTS
During a leadership workshop this week, I was reminded by a participant of a great late Stephen Covey metaphor – the Emotional Bank Account. I was explaining ‘transactional analysis’ – the strokes research i.e. more positive feedback you provide (developing trust in a relationship), the easier it is for the receiver to receive tough/character building feedback!
Covey succinctly explains that if you build trust and respect in your relationships, people will forgive you if you ‘do the wrong thing’ in their eyes! Yes, that can be giving feedback which hurts their ego but strengthens the expectation of 'how we do things around here'.
For some of us, we’ve had lots of experience in building relationships and know what works and what flaws need focused on to strengthen the trust and respect. However, for new leaders, this may be an ‘A-HA’ moment.
People like being positively stroked. People crave social acceptance and attention. As a leader, if you give explicit positive feedback, which recognises the behaviour and the consequence of that chosen behaviour, doing this on a regular basis, you have rite of passage to do the same if the behaviour isn’t 'respected or expected in the workplace'.
Begin your day with a goal of looking for opportunities to build people’s emotional bank account – offering deposits of positive feedback. Maybe you need to set a limit – but at least do it and don’t wait for planned weekly conversations or dare I say, the yearly performance appraisal!