How is the new year unfolding for you? Are you well and truly into the swing of things, or still stuck trying to solve the problems of last year? Maybe habit 6 from the famous book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, can help.
Learning cultures start with synergy!
I am sure you have heard the phrase “two heads are better than one” before. Habit 6 is synergise and we think it’s the magic ingredient of learning organisations! To synergise is to not just work collaboratively, but to embrace open-mindedness, genuine team spirit and a collective energy to create new solutions to old and existing problems. The synergise habit thrives on the ideology that “together is better”; that solutions will be better and more effective if produced by the collective rather than the individual. Synergy allows for joint discovery of things we are much less likely to discover by ourselves. It is the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
Building synergy is a continuous process
Synergy can occur only when it is ingrained in the process – it doesn’t happen on its own. It is through such process that the collective can bring their own experiences, beliefs, expertise and ideas to the table. Individual contribution is welcomed, heard, understood, embraced and constructively debated. When people begin to interact together, in a genuine way, they’re then open to each other’s influence and can begin to learn from one another. Valuing and embracing differences is what really drives synergy. Do you truly value the mental, emotional, and psychological differences among people? Or do you wish everyone would just agree with you, so you could all get along?
Synergy allows you to:
- Value the differences in other people as a method of expanding your perspective
- Look for the good in others
- Exercise courage to be open and encourage others to be open
- Accelerate creativity and find a solution that will be better for everyone by looking at the alternatives
How you can introduce synergy to your business?
We must start with habits 4 and 5 – we must think win-win and seek first to understand. Once we have these in mind, we’re no longer on opposite sides of the problem. Instead, we are trying to collectively solve it. In this scenario, we are together, looking at the problem, understanding all the needs, and working to create an alternative that will meet them.
“The key to valuing differences is to realize that all people see the world, not as it is, but as they are.” Stephen Covey
What we end up with is not a transaction, but a transformation. Both sides get what they want, and they build their relationship in the process.
An easy way to start practicing synergy
1. Make a list of people who irritate you. Now choose just one person. How are their views different? Put yourself in their shoes for one minute. Think and pretend how it feels to be them. Does this help you understand them better? 2. Make a list of people with whom you get along well. Now choose just one person. How are their views different? Now write down a situation where you had excellent teamwork and synergy. Why? What conditions were met to reach such fluidity in your interactions? How can you recreate those conditions again?