Deposits and Withdrawls

My last post talked about the importance of building relationships and taking time need to really set things up before moving forward. It is this time and care that will enhance learning, achievement, and allow change to occur. Without this time and care,  change could be faced with animosity and dissention and, will likely not be sustainable.

Marci Laevens made a comment on my last post about Stephen Covey and how he calls this “filling the emotional bank account” by making deposits of trust, caring, kindness and then when you make withdrawals, by asking someone to change something, that you aren’t depleting the account too much.  It is important to make deposits first – build relationships, etc… before making any withdrawals.

As I continued to read A Framework for Understanding Poverty, by Ruby Payne, this was brought up again.  Payne talks about how the deposits and withdrawals are different for those who live in poverty, as compared to those who live in the middle or upper classes.  I found this to be quite interesting.

I thought I would share a couple of charts in Ruby Payne’s book to demonstrate the difference between the classes.

The first chart by Payne, was adapted from the work of Stephen Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.



Seek first to understand

Seek first to be understood

Keeping promises

Breaking promises

Kindness, courtesies

Unkindness, discourtesies

Clarifying expectations

Violating expectations

Loyalty to the absent

Disloyalty, duplicity


Pride, conceit, arrogance

Open to feedback

Rejecting feedback

It is very interesting to compare the above list, adapted by Covey, to the list made by Payne with respect to people from poverty:

Deposits Made to Individual in Poverty

Withdrawals Made from Individual in Poverty

Appreciation for humor and entertainment by the individual

Put-downs or sarcasm about the humor or the individual

Acceptance of what the individual cannot say about a person or situation

Insistence and demands for full explanation about a person or situation

Respect for the demands and priorities of relationships

Insistence on the middle-class view of relationships

Using the adult voice

Using the parent voice

Assisting with goal-setting

Telling the individual his/her goals

Identifying options related to available resources

Making judgements on the value and availability of resources

Understanding the importance of personal freedom, speech, and individual personality

Assigning pejorative character traits to the individual

It is so interesting to me that, again, comparing these two charts we are reminded that people in poverty focus on the importance of entertainment and relationships.  This is clear in how they respond to people, and what they consider to be deposits and what they would be withdrawals to them.

This is very important for people in the school system to know and understand when dealing with people in poverty.

I also wonder how different cultures are also represented in this respect.

Do people of different cultures have different values with respect to deposits and withdrawals?  I would suspect so.  This makes it quite challenging for those in education now, as there is a large increase in immigration from many countries to our province.

While it may be different for different people from various countries, it is essential that we understand the concept of deposits and withdrawals and how they affect learning.  It is also important to understand that they are different based on economic status and, possibly, culture.

My new school has a large number of aboriginal students who attend.  I wonder how their deposits and withdrawals may look differently.

So much to learn!

Published by Tia M. Dawson

There are many things that define who I am as a person. First of all, I am a mother of 3 wonderful children! I can not express how fortunate we are to have our children in our life! Secondly, I am an elementary educator who recently returned to the classroom after 12+ years as an elementary school administrator. Lastly, I am passionate about helping others, learning about abuse, helping others in abusive relationships, and helping others understand their worth.

2 thoughts on “Deposits and Withdrawls

  1. Excellent post Tia! Definitely tons to think about. As I was reading, I was thinking of the students in the behaviour program at my school. We need to deposit A LOT with them as withdrawals from their account really impact them heavily. A broken promise for instance can hurt them very deeply, perhaps more so than other students with the emotional resiliency to move past something like that (not that I go around breaking promises!).
    I have really enjoyed your blog. You always write very thought-provoking and reflective pieces. Truly fortunate to have you in my PLN!

  2. Awwww… thanks, Erin! It really is a good book. I would like more practical information as well though. I am torn in a couple of areas, and I will probably blog about those another time. I’ve enjoyed writing my blog and it really has helped me get my “head back in the game”, if you will. Being at home for 8 months is a long time!
    I’m glad I’ve started to gain a PLN and I’m glad you are a part of it too!

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