Why Relationships Are Like Bank Accounts

When you open a checking account, you have to put in a nominal amount of money to get it started. Over time, you put some in, take some out. Maybe you try to save a little. The basic goal is to make more deposits than withdrawals so you don’t overdraft.

Consider relationships like bank accounts. Any kind of relationship: Husband/wife. Business Partners.Parent/child. Staff/boss. All relationships need more deposits than withdrawals. Sometimes they need refunds (but that’s for a different blogpost.)

Leaders: Pay attention to the number of withdrawals you make from each of your employees — asking them to stay late, come in early, take on extra projects for the team, work a holiday they were scheduled to be off — those are all withdrawals on your ‘relationship’ account. I know, you pay them to do a job. I’m not talking about the usual showing up stuff, I’m talking about consistent extras way beyond the cultural expectations of your organization.

Make a deposit:
Give them a day off when they don’t expect it. Take them to lunch. Don’t charge them PTO/vacay time when they need to go to their daughter’s swim meet or they have a doctor’s appointment. Acknowledge all the extras and how those actions impact and support the team.

People feel appreciated and supported when their relationship account with their job/boss is at least at a break even.

While I’m not advocating creating relationships (of any kind) that are completely transactional or keeping score all the time, it’s important to just pay attention to your balance. I’m talking about time, the mental care and feeding of people, doing the right thing, giving back, life balance.

If you’re blind to the number of overdrafts, your fees can come by way of resignation and divorce. Ain’t nobody got time for that. 

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