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Friday, March 07, 2003

7 Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers - Habit 6 - Synergize

Covey describes habit 6, Synergize, as the highest activity in all life, the true test and manifestation of all the other habits put together. Later in the chapter he opines that many people have not really experienced even a moderate degree of synergy in their interactions with others. Covey feels that this represents one of the great tragedies and wastes in life, because some much potential remains untapped, undeveloped and unused.

Synergy is not compromise. Synergy is when differing viewpoints collide and produce new alternatives that weren't there before. Synergy catalyzes, unifies and unleashes the greatest powers within people. Simply defined, it means the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts.

Valuing the emotional, mental and psychological differences in people is the essence of synergy. And to value those differences we must recognize that all people see the world, not as it is, but as they are. We have to get beyond our opinions and paradigms and enrich our lives through the thoughts and emotions of others.

Covey teaches that the person who is truly effective has the humility and reverence to recognize his own perceptual limitations and to appreciate the rich resources available through interaction with the heart and minds of other human beings. When we are left with our own experiences, we constantly suffer from a shortage of data.

It is very clear that blogging is a self-centered experience. We often feel we are gracing the world with our insights, links and comments. Unfortunately self-centeredness does not lead to synergy. This is the battle bloggers face - reducing ego-centricity through a tool that tends to increase it.

I think the solution is through reading other blogs and realizing that they are a mirror into ourselves. When we read other blogs we see that even the smartest people often say not-so-smart things. We see that those who clamor about compassion are often mean spirited. We see those who extol the virtues of sharing in our interconnected world are often selfish. These observations can help us come to realize that we have a lot of inner work to do. But at the same time, we can see the intelligence, compassion and sharing in other bloggers and realize that we also have so much to give and share.

I recently came across this definition of self-esteem: "Self-esteem is the simultaneous recognition of our positive and negative traits". The goal of life is to increase the positive and decrease the negative and realizing that this is a task that is never completed. Why not use our blogging to pursue this path.