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July 2013: “Cultivating Deposits in our Emotional Bank Account: Keeping Commitments”

One of the key ways we can cultivate deposits into our emotional bank account with others is by keeping our commitments – i.e., doing what we said we would do when we said we would do it. We have likely all experienced times when our partners have not kept their commitments to us. The result is an erosion of the trust we have in them, which equates to a big withdrawal in Covey’s model. Whenever possible, staying on target with our commitments to others not only strengthens our relationships, it builds our credibility as a person of integrity.

And, this said, ‘life shows up’ sometimes and we need to give ourselves and others room to renegotiate when commitments can’t be kept. We may need more time to fulfill the promise or we may realize that we need to break the promise. Either way, having this conversation early and proactively, while likely disappointing, builds credibility and shows respect to our partner, which equates to a deposit.

This month, focus on the commitments you have made to partners in your life. How are you doing in keeping those commitments? When you keep them, notice how that deposit shifts the relationship. If you are tempted to break them, consider first the impact of the withdrawal and try proactively renegotiating. Notice how this form of deposit impacts the relationship as well.

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