The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Couples (Habit 6)

One plus one is greater than the sum of its parts… thats what marriage purports to deliver. And if you seek to understand your partners needs and interests and resist defending and stonewalling, intimacy grows. Choose your attitude. You can achieve so much more when you engage synergistically in your marriage than if you act alone.

The seven habits are not a quick and easy formula for success, but together they form a powerful model for personal change. Adapted for couples, this series of posts is a respectful homage to Stephen R. Coveys most lasting legacy – the 7 Habits.

The seven habits are a step-by-step model that empower individuals to be intentional, to make decisions and to act, moving towards a known destination rather than reacting to whatever is happening at the time. Emphasising the importance of self awareness before successful engagement with your partner, the model is a process of learning new habits to create personal and interpersonal effectiveness.

Habit 6: Synergise

The word synergy comes from the Greek synergos meaning ‘working together’. In the marriage context, synergy refers to two respectful minds communicating to create solutions – greater than the sum of there parts – solutions that are better than what either proposed originally. Beyond positioning and compromise, seek to understand your partners needs and interests and find solutions to satisfy both. Resist defending and stonewalling and listen to each other and seek new alternatives.

Commit to loyalty and openness and never bad mouth your partner. People and relationships are more important than things. When you have an issue, seek to resolve it – choose your attitude and behaviour, communicate openly and seek win/win solutions. This creates trust and intimacy.

Whilst independence is promoted as a strong value in the world today and is difficult for many of us because we have been trained or have learnt that others cannot be trusted, achieving synergy requires high trust and high cooperation and therefore we need to practice empathic communication. You must exhibit trustworthiness and build trustworthy relationships and synergy – interdependent synergy. Trust growths through synergistic interaction, replacing fear and doubt.

Synergy is possible when we have the support of all five previous habits.

Change your approach today.

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