All Nature is Synergistic
Ecology is a word which basically describes the synergism in nature -- everything is related to everything else. It's in the relationship that creative powers are maximized, just as the real power in these Seven Habits is in their relationship to each other, not just in the individual habits themselves. The relationship of the parts is also the power in creating a synergistic culture inside a family or an organization. The more genuine the involvement, the more sincere and sustained the participation in analyzing and solving problems, the greater the release of everyone's creativity, and of their commitment to what they create. This, I'm convinced, is the essence of the power in the Japanese approach to business, which has changed the world marketplace. Synergy works; it's a correct principle. It is the crowning achievement of all the previous habits. It is effectiveness in an interdependent reality -- it is teamwork, team building, the development of unity and creativity with other human beings. Although you cannot control the paradigms of others in an interdependent interaction or the synergistic process itself, a great deal of synergy is within your Circle of Influence. Your own internal synergy is completely within the circle. You can respect both sides of your own nature -- the analytical side and the creative side. You can value the difference between them and use that difference to catalyze creativity. You can be synergistic within yourself even in the midst of a very adversarial environment. You don't have to take insults personally. You can sidestep negative energy; you can look for the good in others and utilize that good, as different as it may be, to improve you point of view and to enlarge your perspective. You can exercise the courage in interdependent situations to be open, to express your ideas, your feelings, and your experiences in a way that will encourage other people to be open also. You can value the difference in other people. When someone disagrees with you, you can say, "Good! You see it differently." You don't have to agree with them; you can simply affirm them. And you can seek to understand. When you see only two alternatives -- yours and the "wrong" one -- you can look for a synergistic Third Alternative. There's almost always a Third Alternative, and if you work with a win-win philosophy and really seek to understand, you usually can find a solution that will be better for everyone concerned. 185 Application Suggestions 1. Think about a person who typically sees things differently than you do. Consider ways in which those differences might be used as stepping-stones to Third Alternative solutions. Perhaps you could seek out his or her views on a current project or problem, valuing the different views you are likely to hear. 2. Make a list of people who irritate you. Do they represent different views that could lead to synergy if you had greater intrinsic security and valued the differences. 3. Identify a situation in which you desire greater teamwork and synergy. What conditions would need to exist to support synergy? What can you do to create those conditions. 4. The next time you have a disagreement or confrontation with someone, attempt to understand the concerns underlying that person's position. Address those concerns in a creative and mutually beneficial way.