What is synergy?
In a posh definition synergy is best expressed as ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’. If you like even simpler terms it would be best summed up as:
1+1= 3 (or more)
Imagine you are Person A who is an adventurous, imaginative and creative person. Imagine there is a Person B who is pragmatic, logistical and deductive. They both have a different perspective and they both have unique and strong traits.
Now imagine, this powerhouse of a team if they combined their forces. Not only would there be two people in a team: there would be two people creating better.
This is synergy.
Achieve unity or oneness with ourselves and others.
What is needed?
I would sum it up into two characteristics:
Being able to effectively co-operate with other people is fundamental to creating synergy. You have to trust other people even if they view things differently (remember that’s the point)
Now to really seek the true benefits of synergy is having the win-win mentality. I did a post on my Instagram (@empower.me.xo) on this: essentially, you have to want everyone to benefit.
Take a simple transaction: you pay for an item.
The shopkeeper wins because he has created a sale
You have won because you have a new item that you have wanted.
It can easily become a win-lose situation. Either the shopkeeper sells you a dodgy item and still over-prices it; or, you buy an item use it for what you wanted and proceed to ask for a refund.
What we want is a win-win mentality. A mentality of any transaction where both participants gain. In a workplace environment you want the boss to helpfully provide and lead a team of employees but equally you want the employees to put in their fair share.
The most effective way of creating synergy is by learning where people’s strengths and weaknesses lie.
How do you work out what your everyday strengths are?
Some workplaces have started making it compulsory to do behavioural personality tests. For example, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator which splits it into 4 Letters. I recommend using:
Another way of finding your ‘set’ personality is through enneagrams which splits it into numbers. I recommend using:
The last way could be to do some sort of chart through wellness. Where you self-analyse what the most important aspects of your life of by colouring in a chart. For example, for wellness:
Now what to do?
This may take time, but you have to accept your strengths and weaknesses. This article is not about you changing yourself: check my Instagram for more ideas about centring your inner self and how to grow from the inside out.
So back to synergy: if you have Person A and Person B who are now put in a team together. Person A may focus on the creation of an idea. Whereas Person B may work on the bringing it to real life. Even though they both could have done fine products by themselves: here they can create something with the strengths of both of them. One is not better than the other or needed more than they other. They are complementary.
In short terms: it’s the seeking of adding to your own strengths.
Why is this not everyday life?
For me, this seems like an ideal way of living. But it’s so idealistic for the current world we live in. In my opinion, we have to retrain our mindset to not be competitive or superlative.
As children we are brought up to be in competition with each other. Think:
Who had the neatest handwriting? Who got the best grade in the year?
We are given numbers and letters at GCSE essentially ranking everyone. It’s not about the effort being put in or if someone deserves a grade. It is purely based on performance.
Someone’s 100% may not be another person’s 100% and it can work in both ways.
Due to this, we enter the world in competition. It’s a weakness to admit that you may not be the best at something. But in my opinion that shows personal integrity.
We can’t have a synergistic relationship if you think that you are better than me. We need to collectively come together and agree to rewrite the way that we are taught to think.
The reason why this shows integral strength of power because being able to say ‘I am good at x y z, but these are my limits’ shows a true understanding of yourself.
So, for me:
My strengths are my communication and organisational skills and I consider myself a problem-solver.
My weaknesses are within my mathematical skills and perhaps, I suppose, if I have to… my stubbornness…
Who can get involved?
Honestly, a synergistic way of life may not be for everybody and not everyone can do it. If you are too dependent than you will rely too heavily on other people to add to your life. If you are too independent, you’ll be too arrogant to see that other people can help you. But somewhere in the middle where there is the appreciation that people can add to your life and you can add to theirs is the ideal goal.
In summative terms: you have to want to create a relationship of mutual integrity, trust and a genuine want for a better for everyone
How to deal with people who are only in for themselves?
This mutual relationship can be incredibly hard to come by. People may start wanting to have that relationship but secretly only do it for the bettering of themselves. Or perhaps that feeling of bettering themselves develops over time.
This is why I would encourage open and honest communication. If something doesn’t feel right, not fair or wrong then definitely raise it as a flag with them as soon as you can.
At the end of the day you can always withdraw from that mutual relationship you have set up. If they are only out for themselves and are using you, then you should not feel obliged to carry on being used.
In conclusion, the aim with being synergistic is to open your mind and heart to new possibilities. Create a relationship based off open communication, trust and a want for bettering each other. This article may seem like many steps and you can’t do this all in one day: that’s okay. I encourage you to try a step and then come back later. For example, reflect on the relationships you have already
Is there that open communication?
Is there mutual respect?
Is there a healthy want to grow together?
You can also on a separate day reflect on who you are and think about your priorities and what type of personality you have. Overall, it’s about being able to think of a bigger picture and go around growing your relationships in a healthy and organic way. This in turn, will allow you to authentically grow.
As inspired by Stephen Covey: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People