Stephen Covey for Theories on Thursday

I may be ahead of myself as we have not yet covered emotional intelligence, but I think this post goes well with our discussion on poverty and yesterday's post about helping kids from poverty.  With that said, let's chat about Dr. Stephen Covey's Emotional Bank Account metaphor.

By the way, today is less "theory" and more bright idea.

(Photo from a Google search and Your Guide to Living; Photoshopped by Jen)
Dr. Covey has a metaphor that I consider when I am working with students or little O (and sometimes manage to forget when talking to my husband after a long day).  Sad, but true, on long days.  Dr. Covey calls it a person’s “Emotional Bank Account.”  Basically, each person you come in contact with has an emotional bank account - just like a financial bank account.  A person's emotional bank account accepts deposits and withdrawals.

Deposits are kind words, thoughtful feedback, a smile, love, kept promises, courtesy, respect, patience or a listening ear.  Withdrawals are negative comments, sarcasm, broken promises, lies, impatience and the list goes on.  Special note:  Each person values different things, so these lists of deposits and withdrawals will vary person-to-person.

Each time you interact with another person, you have an opportunity to make a deposit or withdrawal into their emotional bank account.  Which one will you choose?

With this metaphor in mind, consider the following questions:
  • How are you making deposits in your students’ emotional bank accounts?
  • How are you making unintended withdrawals? I am optimistic they are unintended....
  • For students from poverty, how can you make deposits to their emotional bank accounts knowing financial deposits, from a teacher, would be an anomaly?
  • Are you happy with your current “banking activity" overall?

If you want to students to embrace this metaphor, as well, consider this activity from Covey’s Google e-book.  The activity is for young kids, but it could be modified for any age, in my opinion.  It comes from Dr. Covey's book the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families.

If you need a good person to practice deposit making, choose a family member or loved one, as your guinea pig. 

Don't tell my husband, but I am secretly practicing emotional bank deposits on him.   And no, I don't think he reads this blog, so my secret is safe.  Mums the word. 

Off to make a deposit,