Habit 6: Synergize®

The Habit of creative cooperation.

Habit 6: Synergize is the highest activity in all life - the true test and manifestation of all the other habits combined. Synergy catalyzes, unifies, and unleashes the greatest powers within people. Simply defined, synergy means that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. 

The highest forms of synergy focus the four unique human endowments, the motive of Win/Win, and the skills of empathetic communication on the toughest challenges we face in life. What results is almost miraculous. We create new alternatives. 

"Synergy is better than my way or your way. It's our way." - Dr. Stephen R. Covey

Synergy and communication.

Synergy is exciting. Creativity is exciting. It's phenomenal what openness and communication can produce. The possibilities of significant gain and improvement are so real that it's worth the risk such openness entails. Trust is closely related to different levels of communication: defensive, respectful, and synergistic. 

  • Defensive - The lowest level of communication comes out of low-trust situations. It only produces Win/Lose or Lose/Lose outcomes, isn't effective, and creates further reasons to defend and protect. 
  • Respectful - The middle level of communication is where fairly mature people interact. They communicate politely but not empathetically. Respectful communication works, but creative possibilities are limited. Compromise is usually taken, meaning that 1+1=1.5. It produces a low form of Win/Win. 
  • Synergistic - The highest level of communication where 1+1 may equal 8, 16, or even 1,600. The synergistic position of high trust produces solutions better than any originally proposed, and all parties know it. 

"Synergy is not the same as compromise. In a compromise, one plus one equals one and a half at best." - Dr. Stephen R. Covey

You know you're in synergy when you:

  • Have a change of heart.
  • Feel new energy and excitement.
  • See things in a new way.
  • Feel that the relationship has transformed.
  • End up with an idea or a result that is better than what either of you started with (a 3rd Alternative).

Watch: Landfill Harmonic, from FranklinCovey’s All Access Pass®.

Learn more about the timeless principles in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by registering for a complimentary webcast.

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