Pssst, wanna know a secret?
That opening line is a great way to connect with another human being. Let’s face it, it’s a dangling carrot that almost everyone will pursue. It’s intriguing enough that you HAVE to say yes. Am I right? Your mind starts wondering if the secret could be one of these:
- Hot Stock Tip – Invest in it and you’ll get filthy rich overnight and retire in Aruba.
- Online Gaming Hack – You wanna get to the next level. So, you’re all ears.
- Recipe for A New Vegan Spicy Cheese Dip – Self-explanatory. Need I say more?
- Which Way To Put The Toilet Paper – Over the top or underneath?
- Someone is Crushing on You – Imagine that. A love connection without swiping right.
Yours truly learned about the art of emotional banking over a spaghetti dinner in New Haven, Connecticut. I was having dinner with a famous actress that was on location filming a movie. I was there to interview her on a public relations assignment to write the presskit. Halfway through the meal, I noticed the actress had dropped a huge glob of marinara sauce on her (most-likely) very expensive white blouse. Our rapport had been going very well. I was there to do a job and needed her full cooperation. If I told her about the dangling glob of red staining food on her shirt I might embarrass her and lose that connection we had built. I had a split second to decide what to do. I thought honesty humor was the best approach. So, I asked her if she wanted to know a secret? She did.
The actress said that she was so thankful that I was honest with her and let her know about the food spill because she would have been embarrassed to notice it her self later or worse yet, saw a picture of it online taken by the stalking paparazzi that night. She confided in me that most people would have never told her, for fear of upsetting her. She said she is surrounded by “yes” people and sometimes it’s nice to hear the truth, even if it’s humbling to her. That was a watershed moment in my life.
Fast forward two years later. I love the art of making and negotiating a deal. I left my executive job at Universal Studios and cashed in my 401K to venture out on my own to become a talent agent. But to make money I needed clients. I needed them fast. So, I went through my contacts and saw the spaghetti actress’s name. I gave her a call. My timing was perfect. She was looking for a new agent for representation. Although I had no other clients she was thrilled to sign with my new fledgling agency because of that “marina incident” two years earlier. Basically, I went to the bank (the actress) to make an emotional withdraw (asking for something). Luckily, I had made an emotional deposit (honesty about the spaghetti sauce on her blouse) so I had something to withdraw. Not only was there something in my emotional bank account, but there was also interest! She talked to two of her actress friends into signing with my agency. The rest of the story is a 25-year career as an agent!
Emotional banking is not always on such a high level like that. A recent Forbes article mentions that it is an important skill to master to become a great leader. You can read the Forbes article here. Emotional banking can be something as simple as extending grace to someone. Mr. Brick is far from the perfect man. (Hard to believe, I know. J/K) So, I have found that extending grace to others is one of the best ways to emotional bank. Most people know when they can be called out on their BS. Sometimes they might be waiting for the shoe to drop and for a person to throw them under the bus because of something they said or did. Isn’t it better to choose the higher ground? I think so. Most of the time it is the right thing to do. It’s what I try to do.
In uncertain times like now your emotional bank account’s balance should be just as high as your checking and savings account at Wells Fargo.
Have a great day!
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