Helen Keller is known for a quote, "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." This is a truthful and powerful statement as she carefully stated, "together we CAN do so much." Like the cartoon, people can be co-inhabiting an area but not be working together. Furthermore, people can be working together and still not be accomplishing synergy. The potential is there but the full effect is lacking. So, then, what is synergy?
Geese flying in a "V" formation so accurately demonstrates synergy. By flying in a "V" formation, the flock of geese can travel 71% farther than one individual geese! For each flap of the wings, an updraft is created for the geese immediately behind the one flapping. In other words, synergy is when two or more team members work together to accomplish more than what could be accomplished alone. Effective leaders know how to create synergy within their teams!
The challenge is that teens would recognize this principle and overcome some personal barriers to make synergy happen. Here's how:
- Reject pride. Have a teachable spirit. Don't act like you have all of the answers. Be open-minded and look to first understand before trying to be understood (Sound familiar? Habit #5).
- Accept Diversity. Know each person on the team thinks, learns, and sees differently. This is the beauty of synergy! When so much diversity can work together to accomplish so much more than what could be accomplished alone.
- Persevere. Working together to make synergy happen is like a choir singing a song. Each individual MUST sing his or her part to make the whole sound right. However, each individual has to listen to each other to make sure everyone is in step and on key. This takes work and is not usually accomplished on the first attempt.
- Research. The team must find new and effective solutions. This takes the resourcefulness and creativity of each person to generate an effective solution that promotes, "win-win" solutions (Sound familiar? Habit #4).
Start improving your achievements by becoming the synergistic team player we all talk about but rarely achieve!