Wednesday, February 16, 2011

For The Love: How your relationship adds up

Many have written about the idea that relationships can be likened to a bank account that is opened with another person; only the “balance” does not measure money, but rather trust. The relationship account is a metaphor for the balance of trust we have built with another person through behavior perceived by that person as a “deposit,” or the trust we lack due to too many “withdrawals.”
Take a moment and pick a relationship in your life, be it personal or professional, and assess your “account balance” by giving the trust you have built with that person a score ranging from -10 (if you are significantly overdrawn), all the way up to +10 if the trust is extremely high (zero is in the middle of the scale). If you have built amazing trust through consistently depositing with that person, if they get your meaning even when you make a mistake in your communication, because they know your heart and they trust you, then your balance is high. If you can’t seem to do anything right in their eyes, if the slightest mistake on your part is magnified and seems to make things even worse, then you are well overdrawn.
Next, identify the deposits and withdrawals in this relationship. Seek to maximize your deposits while minimizing withdrawals. As you do, keep the 3 Keys to the relationship account in mind:
  1. Make Valid Deposits – Find out what the valid deposits are, from the other person’s perspective. While the Golden Rule states, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you” the true spirit of the rule is “Do unto others as they would have you to do unto them.” This is the rule to follow when seeking to make deposits with others. Get clear what THEY value, and make deposits from THEIR perspective, not your own.
  2. Make Deposits Sincerely & Unconditionally – If there are “strings” attached, if you have a hidden agenda or expect something in return, then what you are hoping to be a deposit will most likely become a withdrawal. Be sincere. Make the deposit unconditionally, with your only motive that of wanting to build trust and value in the relationship.
  3. Make Deposits Consistently – You know the old saying, “What have you done for me lately?” Well, this certainly applies to a relationship account. If you make a bunch of deposits in the short term, followed by nothing for quite a while, the other person begins to wonder about the sincerity of your previous deposits, or if they have done something “wrong”, or if you just don’t care anymore. Be consistent.
Now, imagine that these three keys are taken and locked in a box and you need one Master Key to access the other three. That Master Key is Personal Trustworthiness. The whole focus of the relationship account is to build trust. This cannot be done if we ourselves are not trustworthy.
Now, I encourage you to take this principle and apply it to your relationships. Make it part of your purpose to build trust in your relationships with others. With great trust comes great influence, and with great influence you have the power to effect happiness… yours as well as others’.
Kip Kint
ContactPoint Solutions NGA WDDA

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