Emotional Bank Account

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Emotional Bank Accounts

We all do things that are counter-productive to our relationships. We all like to have people be nice to us. The concept of an emotional bank account is powerful, yet not quite as simple as keeping a ledger of debits and credits. One of the problems is the perception of worth. What is a “deposit” worth. We may think it is quite valuable. The affected person may consider it so routine it is not even remembered. The trick in making deposits is to know what value the act has for the person holding the account.

Herzberg was a psychologist who studied motivational factors in American industry. He came up with the conclusion, since quoted out of context, that money is not a good motivator of people. He called things like money, a safe work place, security and such fundamentals “hygiene” factors. That is, the employee needed them to be there and assumed they would be there. They were not, however, efficient in motivating job improvement. Herzberg found that various methods of showing personal appreciation were far more important. A company golf team, a compliment, a letter of commendation, a corner office, painting an employee’s name painted on a parking place and such activities were more efficient in motivation. Do you agree?

Many students do not. To many people, money is a prime motivator. How then did Herzberg come up with his findings? Is he wrong? No, we have to understand another theory, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow was also a psychologist who studied motivation and found that people had needs that varied with their circumstances. If you are living in the weeds, any job that provides 3 hots and a cot is your dream. You think you would never want anything else. But when you get that job, those needs are satisfied and you quickly want more. Maslow said the second stage was to want security. You want those physiological needs to be there in the future, not just today. And, if you get that security, you...
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