Habit 6 of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, focuses on implementing the concept of a team being greater than the sum of its parts. It’s a mindset which supports the notion that teamwork overcomes seemingly tough challenges that individuals may not be able to do on their own. This article will show you what it means to synergize and how to implement it in your life.

The Habit of Creative Cooperation

What is Synergize? Synergy is about the ability to work together towards a common goal. This habit is crucial for individuals and organisations alike, because it helps people find connections between their work and others’, which can lead to greater innovation, creativity, and productivity. It also builds a habit of creative cooperation, allowing people to tackle problems from many different perspectives and get the best outcome together.

Here’s how to get it right.

The Habit of Curiosity

Synergize is the habit of curiosity; being open-minded enough to see new possibilities in any situation.

When we’re curious about challenges and how to overcome them, we tend to connect with others to shed light on problems and ideas.

Synergize is the habit of being open to these knew ideas, opinions, teamwork and tackling challenges together to get the best result, which benefits everyone.

Different Perspectives Gives Us Different Viewpoints

With synergy, by using different experience and expertise, as well as differing perspectives, it allows us to identify new solutions and innovate.

Imagine two competitors. Both are gaming developers.

One has the best talent and processes to make some of the best games on the market.

The other is renowned for below average games but exceptional supply chain and logistics -they can cover the market fast and get their products to where it matters.

This would be a perfect opportunity for synergy. Both businesses could merge and benefit from the other’s strengths.

A diagram showing how two competitors with different skillsets, can merge together and create synergy

Collaborating is the key to success. Rather than stubbornly sticking with your own idea, listen to others’ ideas and work together in a way that will create synergy between different perspectives. New concepts may arise and as the saying goes, “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.”

The Key components of Synergy

  • Understand that differences are simply different metaprograms and filters of the world. We’ve written a guide on this for further information
  • Emotional and psychological differences provide opportunities to look at problems and challenges from different perspectives
  • Stay open to new ideas – no idea is a bad one
  • Listen empathically (Habit 5), so you can understand other people’s points of view and get win win working relationships (Habit 4)
  • Share similar goals – If you have similar objectives, it can become obvious to work together (think about our two competing businesses as an example above)
  • Have courage to apologise if you make mistakes – humility goes a a long way towards building trust and respect
  • Truly understand and believe in the view that behind all great champions is a team – One person can never outcompete a team working together synergistically
A diagram showing the 7 key components of habit 6: synergy

Key Things to Take Into Account:

ElementReason
Give importance to other’s opinionsDoing this allows you to think of challenges from many different angles. this creates a greater chance of coming up with a viable solution
Empathic listeningListening patiently and empathically, builds trust. The more ideas, the greater the chance of success
Handle criticism with patienceThis allows you to really hold back and understand your own strengths and weaknesses
Work with people who are blatantly different to youThis forces you to challenge the status quo. This idea means you can think outside the box easily and use diversity to come up with solutions more readily

Tips To Get Habit 6 Synergize Right:

Here’s how to develop your habit 6: Synergize skills.

Make Synergy a Habit. To do this, find opportunities to collaborate with others.

Step 1: Understand Those You Are In Conflict With

Practice being mindful of others first. Take a moment to think about someone you currently have a “clash” or deep conflict with and understand why this is the case. Think from their perspective; not yours.

What are they looking for? What is their view and why do they feel the way they do? Embrace that this difference is actually a healthy thing, because there may be an opportunity to work together to improve the situation, by creating a solution that you both can benefit from.

Step 2: Find People You May Have Complimentary Skills With

Think about someone who is totally different to you in their mindset and outlook on life. Someone with skills, attributes and perspectives that are rather alien to yours. Can you work together on a project or task to maximise the outcome?

Step 3: Use Brainstorming to Support Ideas Generation

When you do find ways to synergize with others, one way to kickstart creative collaboration is by running a brainstorming meeting. Use it to share ideas to overcome a specific challenge, in a very quick and efficient way.

Step 4: Constantly Get in the Habit of Looking for Collaboration

Constantly look for opportunities to work with others to overcome challenges. This could be in collaborating businesses, teams, experience, and skillsets.

A diagram showing 4 steps to practising synergy and developing your synergy skills.

Summary

habit 6 is about understanding the meta programs and biases we have of the world around us, and rather than clashing with those that don’t share our views, accepting that it’s nothing more than seeing the world through a different lens.

Instead of being defensive, be curious. Understand other people’s opinions. Open up and learn the filters and lenses of others.

When you take the threatening feeling away, you can use this as a positive improvement in your life and those around you.

Habit 6 Synergize allows us to work with others to build win-win relationships and to overcome challenges together.

There’s a Team Behind Every Success

The most successful people in the world have a team working synergistically together. From Elon Musk and his desire for clean energy, to The New Zealand All Blacks rugby team, to a boxing world champion like Anthony Joshua. In all cases, there is a team behind the success.

The best teams embrace win-win relationships, empathic listening, and synergy to work to a common goal.

Go and look for ways to learn from others and work with them, so you can overcome challenges together, and be stronger as a whole.