One of the many pieces of truth that we give to Teach One to Lead One® students is that in order to have GREAT relationships, it involves respect and meaningful effort. We say that each person has a Relational Bank Account (RBA). Just like a financial bank account, you can make deposits or withdrawals into them. A deposit into someone’s RBA might be an encouraging word or a compliment. It could be a high-five or listening to a friend who is going through a hard time. A withdrawal could be a put-down, a mean look, or ignoring someone. And just like financial bank accounts, if the withdrawals are bigger than your deposits… you’re bankrupt.
During the small group portion of T1L1 last week at Devereux, I asked the kids, “Who is someone you can think of that might be on the verge of going bankrupt in their RBA?” I was preparing to challenge them to make a deposit into that person’s RBA in the upcoming week. The 7th grade girl sitting next to me just hung her head down.
“Can you think of someone who is about to be bankrupt in their RBA?” I asked her.
“Yeah…” She said. “Me.”
My heart sunk. I was doing my best to hold it together. I looked at her and said, “I am so sorry that you feel that way. The hurtful things that people have said and done to you are lies. That’s not who you are. Your are a smart and fun girl! And it is my goal for the next couple of months to try to fill your RBA. Okay?”
The reality is that we are all around people who are on the verge of going emotionally and relationally bankrupt. Whether you are a mentor or not, whether you are around kids or adults… we have the tremendous opportunity to make deposits into people’s RBA everyday.
Respect + Meaningful Effort = Great Relationships
That’s true for anyone, anywhere, at anytime. It’s a universal principle.