(Author Stephen Covey)
Habit 6: Synergize®
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Aristotle
The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of synergize is “to cooperate with another or others, especially to remedy something”. From a medical perspective, it means “to increase the activity of (a substance)”. From a business perspective, synergy can be the life blood of a company that relies on a team to get the job done. The process of cooperating with others in an open and creative way can bring about results superior to those achieved by an individual.
How does this apply to my personal and professional life?
For those of us who work in a team environment, we know that it comes with its benefits and challenges. We each bring our own unique experiences, ideas, values, and personalities to the group. Working in a synergistic way with our colleagues requires a genuine openness to the insights of others. It is a willingness to suspend our own track of thought or set way of doing things.
At the heart of synergy is valuing what makes us different. Unity can exist even amongst the most diverse group of people. A diverse team is exciting, dynamic, and successful…If the members of the team value the unique attributes of one another. Synergy in a business environment can act much like it does in the medical world. It can “increase the activity of” a unit. When ideas, questions, visions, and even criticism can flow freely within a group, the natural outcome is greater productivity. A continual exchange of information and opinions will free minds to work incessantly at planning and improving.
What can I do?
Take a moment to look at the team you work with every day. What does each person bring to the group that you yourself do not? Does someone have expertise in a particular field that allows them insight into certain industries? Does someone else have a very logical mind and provide structure to complicated projects? Find a way to make note of and value the unique contributions of each person. Then seek out those individuals for their advice and thoughts on a regular basis. As individuals, we are capable of only so much. By tapping into the pools of talent around us and letting them flow into our minds and methods, we can achieve things beyond our own abilities.