Seeing life as a bank account

The emotional bank account is a business concept that I believe originated with Steven Covey many years ago. It is a concept that we use at Gymfinity with staff training and it’s often referred to for use with our athletes.

The concept is simple: we have a make-believe “bank” account with every person or business we encounter. When the interaction is positive we make deposits into that account, when it is negative we make withdrawals. If the account balance drops to zero, we close the account. Think of a restaurant that we have never been to; our first time there we open the account. We find the food is incredible (deposit), the service is amazing (deposit) the atmosphere is comfortable (deposit) and the bill is appropriate (deposit). This is a very positive experience. But the next time we come in, the service is a little weak. (withdrawal). However our account was strong before this withdrawal and so the balance at the end of the night is still fine. In contrast, let’s say that the return trip was terrible, tons of withdrawals and leaving the balance zeroed out. We will not return to the restaurant nor will we recommend it.

This same concept applies to interpersonal relationships. We look for ways to make deposits so our relationship is strong and can withstand a few minor withdrawals. Should if fall into the negative, we will no longer maintain a relationship with that “bank.”

When it comes to working with athletes, the situation is very similar. We look for ways to make deposits: teaching new skills, building confidence, having fun, being personal, developing healthy relationships, giving opportunities for new experiences, strengthening the team bond, being patient, encouraging, and so on. The list could continue forever because there are many ways to positively affect an athlete. We build this balance up because on occasion there will be withdrawals. We may need to address issues in the training, or increase difficulty in skills or strength conditioning. There will be muscle soreness, tough coaching, hard schedules and losses that inevitably come, sometimes dashing expectations against the rocks.  It’s a game of give and take, plus and minus, add and subtract, win and lose, happy and frustrated. But through it all the balance has to remain in the black.

I often tell my staff “that we should be seeking, everyday, for opportunities to deposit into all of our accounts. It is an insurance policy that will protect us when something doesn’t go right.”  This concept is appropriate and a great illustrative way to see our actions and reactions in business, training athletes or personal relationships.

I really like that this high level coach uses the same philosophy when he trains his athletes. [youtube=]

I hope this post makes a deposit in my account with you today. I hope that you find it informative and helpful, that it encourages you to read past posts and future posts. I hope my balance with you is high.

How about you, have you made any deposits for anyone today?


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