Synergy refers to creative collaboration in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It requires high levels of trust, cooperation, and effective communication. It is the essence of teamwork and cooperation.
Communicating synergistically means opening your mind to new possibilities instead of being defensive or protective. It operates at a higher level than even respectful communication, in which individuals can respect but do not fully understand one another’s paradigms. Respectful communication can lead to compromise or low-level Win/Win, but it does not have the creative spark of synergistic communication.
Fishing for the Third Alternative
The third alternative refers to an entirely new way of thinking—neither your way, nor my way, nor a compromise. Instead, one is open to new possibilities, and to a new, cooperative method for finding solutions. In order to achieve a third alternative, you must be open to new approaches or influences. This is a truly collaborative and creative way of thinking.
Need to Know: Synergy relies upon the differences between people. Everybody has something to contribute. By valuing the difference between people, you stop trying to change them, and can work together to transcend limits created by different viewpoints. Synergy emerges when all of the first five habits are applied.