Steven Covey, author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, describes a metaphor –  an emotional bank account – to be able to withdraw, one must first make deposits.

This applies to feedback, a manager or a colleague needs to “put in” appreciative feedback to build a climate of confidence. This assumes of course that the appreciative feedback is genuine. When the trust assets and trust is high, then the developmental feedback (for improvement) is easier to absorb.

In some workplaces have I heard: “Here, you only hear when you do wrong!”. Then chances are that the emotional bank account is empty and there is a distrust in such a workplace. The developmental feedback are not likely to get the intended effect, but may rather worsen the whole situation.

Therefore it is good to keep an eye on your colleagues ‘and employees’ accounts so that they are never empty. Then it’s time to give appreciative sincere genuine feedback!

If you see that your own account is shrinking, you can ask for appreciative feedback!

A good way to get started to fill on each other’s emotional bank account is to have a course / workshop in feedback as a group development activity so that there is a collective agreement to begin to give and ask for feedback.

Ps. One tip is that it also applies to your partner, your children, parents, friends, customers, suppliers, cashier in your supermarket and more.

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