Covey’s Habit 6 – Synergy

When I began this series of blog postings, I thought it would be:

  • Rereading the book
  • Looking at the material with fresh eyes
  • Deconstructing each rule and reassembling around current education initiatives.

This would be my method of working through these habits and refreshing my personal skills in the practices I had read through at the time of their publication (Simon & Schuster, copyright 1989 by Stephen Covey).

As I progressed through the series of Habits, given their age and their (perceived) amount of adoption, I assumed that they were in widespread use.   However, I observe colleagues, who:

  • Start processes with little or no thought as to obstacles they will encounter (Proactivity).
  • Suggest courses of action without seeing the completion in sight. (Begin w/ the End in Mind)
  • Expect positive trajectories to develop just out ahead of their actions. (First Things First).
  • Push a solution that solely suits their particular part of the solution. (Think Win/Win)
  • Push justifications of failure to affected stakeholders as “the best they could do with what they were given” (Understand/Understood)

This, I believe, comes from a belief that they can accomplish more as an individual than as a group.

Covey says:

To put it simply, synergy means “two heads are better than one.” Synergize is the habit of creative cooperation. It is teamwork, open-mindedness, and the adventure of finding new solutions to old problems. But it doesn’t just happen on its own. It’s a process, and through that process, people bring all their personal experience and expertise to the table. Together, they can produce far better results that they could individually. Synergy lets us discover jointly things we are much less likely to discover by ourselves. Covey’s Habit 6

Synergy requires the action of combining things.

Not a combination of an individual’s actions but the combination of individuals’ actions.

I press for contribution so I can capitalize on cooperation.

I have pursued this action through:

  • Serving as a math tutor with other members of the math department, exchanging classroom experiences and instructional styles
  • Training as a Core Coach with teachers across the state listening to their work with new standards
  • Co-facilitating training in Tennessee State Standards roll-out
  • Pitching & securing access to TechGoesHomeCha grant for my high school
  • Reading, joining and marking BLOG posts and Twitter-chat exchanges (Twitter: amba04jvs3)
  • Maintaining open conversations with various constituencies (public and private)
  • Mentoring students involved in the TNPromise program

Through this I am finding a student-centric voice for “success” that empowers students to continuously advocate for themselves throughout their education pipeline.

Not a series discrete programs that elevate their trajectories just to drop support at critical junctures, but instead a “student fueled” resource that could follow the “pipeline journey” and support incremental decisions they make along the way.

  • Career interest inquiry
  • Mentor specific career trajectories
  • Job shadowing (virtual or real-time)
  • Career camps or internship opportunities
  • Post-graduation placement (high school or college)
  • Web-based & Participant sustained

To initiate this resource it will require individuals who want to join together and share their Synergy and believe in its strength.

They are out there to be cultivated and supported and this network would grow to be an scalable resource for career trajectory information.

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