Habit 6: Synergize

Okay, so this sounds like one of those nonsense business words youmight see in a Dilbert cartoon. However, the concept is important tobeing highly effective.

The idea behind synergy is to come upwith a “third alternative” or a “better way.” This means workingtogether with others to find a better way to do something. It requireswin-win thinking, i.e. everyone participating needs to be thinkingwin-win. It requires everyone to seek first to understand. This way,everyone’s viewpoint is heard. In the process of hearing these views,new ideas will emerge that everyone can get behind.

The biggestkey to synergy, however, is in valuing differences. Not justunderstanding everyone is different, becuase that’s a given, but trulyvaluing them. When you seek first to understand, and do it well, youare showing the other person that they are valuable. You are seeing theworld from their point of view. That understanding often leads to newand different solutions.

When synergy happens, it’s like 1 + 1equalling 3, 10, 100, or more. When synergy is reached, people have achange of heart, feel more energy and excitement, have a differentpoint of view, feel closer to each other, and, most importantly, have anew and improved idea. If you compromise 1 + 1 may equal 1 1/2 ifyou’re lucky. If the process degrades to defensiveness or hostility, 1+ 1 starts equaling negative numbers.

Synergy is hard to do allthe time, though. It takes a lot of time and effort to come to Synergy,so it’s not always practical. My wife and I have generally worked outwhat each other cares about and have pretty much agreed to let theperson who cares the most about a particular thing make the decision.Does each person always get their way? Not always, but it is ulimatelyfor the betterment of the relationship.

tags: 7 habits, self improvement






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