Relational bank accounts

What relationships are important to you?

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Friends
  • Boss
  • Co-workers
  • Colleagues in other organizations

Every one of those relationships is important and each has its own “bank” account.  However, just because you are fantastic and invested into your relationships with your closest friend, doesn’t mean that your children feel the same investment into the relationship you have with them.

Said another way, each relationship has a completely different account and the funds are non-transferable.

To further this analogy, some of these accounts are interest bearing accounts while others have diminishing return.  So invest wisely.  Spending quality time with your family may give you the creative energy to add value at work.  On the other hand, spending time with certain friends or colleagues will actually take emotional energy away thus leaving you less to give others.

The mistake I frequently make is that false sense of security in my family relationships based upon the value I bring to my job.  How many times have you walked into your house at night and the only thing you talk about for the first hour is how much you did and accomplished at work as if this had something to do with the relationships in front of you?  Yup, I’m guilty. 

Let’s reverse that and take another look.  The next time you want to ask for a raise, consider taking this approach with your boss.  Explain to him how much you’ve accomplished at home, by mowing the lawn, doing dishes, folding laundry, fixing the leak in the bathroom.  Do you think your boss would see the value and justification to provide you a raise?  Probably not.

The point is this.  Be present in the relationship you are building and don’t try to leverage how interesting you are in other “banks”.  Because when you focus on who you are with, you will earn compounding interest in that relationship.

A well diversified relationship portfolio will always bring the highest returns.  And I pray that if the bottom drops out in your “work” account that you have enough invested into the other areas of your life that you don’t go completely bankrupt…


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