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Habit 6: Synergize6

Synergy is where all of the previous habits come together.  It is the payoff.  To quote Stephen Covey “Synergy is the highest activity in all of life.”  “The essence of synergy is to value the differences.”  By doing so, the human gift of creativity can be levered to produce new and exciting options for the future.

By doing all the work in Habits 1,2, and 3 you develop internal confidence from a life rooted in principle.  This confidence  then allows for respectful interaction with others.  To make this work properly requires habit 4, Think Win / Win and habit 5 Seek First to Understand and then to Be Understood.  You accept that you may have differing views, but that fundamental principles that guide life remain.  Thus it is possible to explore new ideas without fear and insecurity.  You are interdependent.  You are open to the opinions of others.  You understand the value of your perspective, while realizing that “all people see the world, not as it is, but as they are.”  “The person who is truly effective has the humility and reverence to recognize his own perceptual limitations and to apreciate the rich resources available through interaction wiht the hearts and minds of other human beings.”  Covey goes on to state,  has  “When we’re left to our own experiences, we constantly suffer from a shortage of data.”

As humans some of us are very expressive by nature.  Others are very analytical.  Some are highly emotional, and others very logical.  All see the world from different angles.  Leveraging this diversity of views is a critical part of synergy.  Further, it does not stop with personality type.  Every person has experienced different things, has different values, different skills, and different areas of knowledge – each with the potential to bring unique perspective and value to a situation.

Covey then goes on to talk about how synergy works in communication.  It is the idea that when someone disagrees with you, rather than becoming defensive, you say “Good! You see it differently.”  You may not agree with them but you appreciate their perspective.  Even if someone insults you, you choose not to take it personally, but instead to see it as a way to “improve your point of view and to enlarge your perspective.”   Covey says it like this, “If a person of your intelligence and competence and commitment disagrees with me, then there must be something to your disagreement that I don’t understand, and I need to understand it. You have a perspective, a frame of reference I need to look at.”

How does this apply to social media?

Social media is all about synergy.

If you follow Stephen Covey’s quotes in this post as you engage in conversations with people through social media channels, you are truly going to get value out of the experience.  If you are creatively expressing yourself, people are going to disagree with you from time to time.  If you immediately get defensive, you will turn people away.  This is not easy.  Our knee jerk reaction is to hit back when someone hits us.  Not to mention that text on the web tends to read more negatively than is intended quite often.  Thus we can easily overthink a comment or a post written by someone that is at odds with our view of the world.

Realize that it might just be an opportunity for synergy.  It gives you the chance to explore someone else’s view, to broaden your perspective, and ideally through the respectful exchange of ideas, to develop something new.  Sure, sometimes you come across the lame person that just wants to throw “salt in your game.”

Another point – Synergy does not always involve a dispute.  It might just involve finding a great solution.  One great thing about the potential to connect with the world is the potential to tap into that world for answers.  The synergy might take place between totaly strangers who take an interest in answering a question you pose on a blog, forum, podcast or social network.  The collective wisdom of the world is at your fingertips.  Realize that you can engage people to help you.

Tapping into synergistic communication is an invigorating experience.  It is one that you can proactivley create by using social media to express your ideas and explore your creative potential.

“You have a perspective, a frame of reference I need to look at.”  – Well said Mr. Covey.  Well said.