Seriously, when you start thinking about the emotional bank account concept – it changes everything!
I’d like to connect the dots and share how understanding this concept can influence a few specific areas of your life- I’ll start with ministry.
How the Emotional Bank Account Affects Ministry:
I would say that almost 80% of my job is asking people to do things. It’s true a lot of the time people are asking me for help to find a way to serve, or signing up for a specific way they’d like to serve. But, if I don’t keep in mind my emotional bank account with people, they won’t stay around for long.
How to make deposits in the emotional bank account of volunteers:
1. Connect with them. If you’re calling to ask for something (bank account withdrawal), first spend some time talking with them. Find out how their day is going, what’s going on in their life. I’ll often find out someone’s changing jobs, was sick, or some other life stressor is going on in this way. Show genuine interest in them. I’ve found over and over volunteers are looking for connection. One big reason they serve is to be known by others. I find caring for them and caring about them is a great way to make deposits into their account.
2. Share yourself. When I talk with a volunteer on the phone or even through e-mail, I try to share a little about my own life or day. I consider it making a deposit into my genuine friendship with them as a person. This goes back to connecting with them. If a person knows you’re investing in them as a person and not just a task, they’ll be more willing to serve.
3. Say Thank You! As much as you can and in as many ways as you can, say thank you. If you see a volunteer going out of their way to serve, thank them. If you know a person is serving after a long night of work, acknowledge that, and thank them. Sometimes the easiest way to make a deposit into a person’s emotional bank account is by acknowledging their service. You can’t say thank you too much!
4. Cast Vision. A clear vision can help make up for some withdrawals you have to make as a leader. When I call someone to ask them to serve in a specific way, I always try to explain how what they’re doing plays into what we’re trying to do as a church. I want them to know why their service matters and why I think they would do a good job at serving in that area. A clear vision can make deposits into someone’s emotional bank account, even beyond what you do or don’t do because their task becomes bigger than you.
One of the reasons I love my job is because of this concept. Every time I call someone, even if I’m asking them to do something, I enjoy taking a few moments to connect with them. I want to try to add value to their day, even if we’re talking about a way they’d like to serve. I’m not saying I always do it perfectly, but it changes the way I think about those phone calls.
If you missed it, make sure to check out part 1: