Classes Based on Stephen Covey's, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Two class series — one for adults and one for teens — based on Stephen Covey and Sean Covey's books
HABIT 6: SYNERGIZE
Pages 247-275, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families: Building a Beautiful Family Culture in a Turbulent World, Stephen R. Covey, Golden Books, New York, NY, 1997
Pages 181-204, THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE TEEN: THE ULTIMATE TEENAGE SUCCESS GUIDE, Sean Covey, A Fireside Book, Simon & Schuste, 1998
Pages 18, The 7 Habits of Effective Teens: THE MINIATURE EDITION, Sean Covey, 2002
• "Building Family Unity Through Celebrating Differences"
(Having something to work out together through synergy)
• Key question for Habit 6: "Do I value different opinions, viewpoints, and perspectives of others when seeking solutions?"
• “Synergy--the summum bonum (supreme or highest) fruit or result, end product of all the habits.”
• The magic of 1 + 1 = 3 or more
• All the parts making up the whole - metaphor of body
• The 3rd “person”; the 3rd circle
• Do early: held hostage to the “way” or reality give kids
• Powerful problem solving tool: THE fundamental model of problem solving for children to witness
• “Fruit of Synergy is Priceless, ... challenging ... thrilling”
• Being a light, not a judge, a model, not a critic
• “Just as gangs can become a substitute family for young people, ...things can become a substitute for synergy”
• Demonstrates unconditional love
• “Happiness...comes from the quality of relationships”
• “Its not ‘your way’ or ‘my way’ but a better, higher way.”
Becomes an “our way,” or “our family way”
• Stories: passing on a book from mother to daughter
spouse of left brain (details) & right (feelings)
couch over credit
• “The Family Immune System”
“Togetherness in problem solving”
• Aids and Heroin don’t kill you
• They reduce/impair/lower/weaken immune system
• Then other bugs/viruses/diseases attack and find no defenders resisting them
• Uses the Four Gifts: self-awareness
• To Meet the 4 Basic Needs:
to leave a legacy (what do with
kids affects grandkids;
“apples don’t fall far from the
• Fortifies against the four “cancers” deadly to families:
• A Habit 4, 5, & 6 culture: Involve...work out together
• Transformational: integration takes place; “3rd” created
• Transactional plus: complimentary team work: cooperation
strength of one with weakness of other, and vice versa
• Scale of 1 - 10 honesty: synergy not needed: compromise
• Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn, Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting: sovereignty
Covey, p. 267: Report on Television and Behavior,
by the National Institution of Mental Heath
Benefits from limiting TV to a maximum of two hours a day:
• Value setting will be taught and reinforced by the family. Families will learn how to establish values and how to reason together.
• Relationships between parents and youth will improve in families.
• Homework will be completed with less time pressure.
• Personal conversations will increase substantially
• Children’s imaginations will come back to life
• Each family member will become a discriminating selector and evaluator of programs
• Parents can become family leaders again
• Good reading habits may be substituted for TV viewing
Covey family story of TV (programs, ads; parents view; kids meet; kids decided after parents presented above: 7 hours/week)
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS for Habit 6: Synergy
An Exercise in Synergy
An issue to resolve: different opinions, different points of view
Divide into three groups: each in each group plays the role of each group: moms, dads, kids, and discuss from there
1. What is the problem from everyone’s point of view?
[Habit 4, 5, and 6 culture] Each side be able to express the others’ points of view
2. What are the key issues involved?
(Identify them all & list)
3. What would constitute a fully acceptable solution?
(the net results which equal a win for each person)
(put criteria on table: refine and prioritize; make sure all are satisfied that they represent all involved
4. What new options would meet those criteria?
Synergize around creative new approaches and solutions.
Evaluation of self and family:
Does our family operate synergistically?
Do we celebrate differences?
How could we improve
Discuss the idea of a family immune system:
Do we look at problems as negative obstacles to be
overcome or as opportunities to grow?
Discuss the idea that challenges build your immune system.