One of our favorite business-related books is Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. We love it so much, we’ve dedicated one blog post for each habit. Today, we’ll be talking about habit number six:Synergize

(If you haven’t caught the first five, simply click here!)

Synergize—what does that mean?

The root of the word is synergy, which means multiple things or people come together to produce something (a project, an action, etc.) that is greater than it would be had the individual parts been on their own. Think of a car. A steering wheel on its own is not very useful. But combined with an engine, framework, tires, and much more, it becomes a car, which we find quite useful in our day-to-day lives.

Synergize, then, is the verb form: when people come together to complete tasks.

To synergize with one another means that we are interacting, sharing knowledge and best practices, collaborating on projects, educating each other, and spreading awareness about our industry. It is extremely difficult for any one agent to know every law pertaining to every product for every carrier. But if he shares his experiences and knowledge with others who reciprocate, then all parties are better off.

Think about it.

Producer X works alone. He specializes in one area only. Producer Y attends NAIFA and MDRT meetings. He has a mentor and spends time with peers. Which would you guess would be both more knowledgeable and stick around long term?

But to be able to synergize with others takes certain characteristics.

Primarily, you have to be open. You have to be open to listening, open to influence, and open to others providing ideas on how to tweak your methods. Only then are you truly able to gain new insight. Next, you have to be willing to participate. Your peers will not give, give, give to you if you are not bringing anything to the collective table. Lastly, you have the value your peers and their differences. To value someone’s input means that you trust them.

If you’re open, contribute, and value others, you have the ability to synergize with others.

Don’t be mistaken, though. Synergizing does not mean that you sheepishly go along with anything your peers say. The goal is to have unity, not uniformity.

Remember, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”  Think 1 + 1 = 4 or 6 or 9!  That’s synergy!