- Self-destructive - this is when two people interact they spend most of their time miscommunicating, blaming, or complaining about why they can't make headway on a task. Or one plus one does not equal two as the interaction does not generate enough resources to sustain itself.
- Static - these relationships are about as productive as working by yourself or one plus one equals two. Sometimes these relationships are productive, but just as much they detract from individual's performances. Overall when change occurs, however, it drags this type of relationship down.
- Synergistic - here individuals or groups work together to produce a total effect which is greater than the sum of their separate efforts. People in these relationships are confident that they can weather change and maximize their odds of success and therefore pursue change earlier than those not as confident.
- Willingness - this stems from common goals and interdependence. It takes hard work and perseverance to create, as well as teamwork. The willingness sometimes comes from the realization by leaders that they must work with diverse viewpoints to get something done. All must be able to work through conflict, divergent opinions, and different styles and realize that all of the diversity will lead to something much greater than working individually.
- Ability - here employees must feel and act empowered to still provide their input and conduct themselves as key contributors to a team effort instead of being a victim and feeling like they have no options. Empowered people can influence decisions of leaders if they are in an environment where that input is valued. They also take responsibility for the situation that they are in and find ways to make changes to that situation if needed through providing their input into the decision making process.
- Interaction - this is the ability to have effective communications by being direct, clear, checking assumptions, and being consistent. It also comes through listening actively and building trust/credibility.
- Appreciative Understanding - this is the ability to value and use diversity. This happens through understanding why others think the way that they do and being open to the natural conflicts that occur with diverse opinions. This requires an open climate, delaying forming negative judgments when diverse opinions are raised, empathizing with each other, and valuing diversity.
- Integration - this is fostering empowerment even while strongly disagreeing with someone. This happens by tolerating ambiguity and being persistent, being pliable or flexible in their views, being creative, and finally being selective.
- Implementation - the final step in a synergistic process is the implementation of a successful business. This happens through strategizing (or planning specific, actionable steps), monitoring and reinforcing (or overseeing progress and offering solutions to problems as they arise), remaining team focused (or continuing to focus on common goals and interdependence), and finally updating (or continuously updating action plans based upon changes in the environment).
Overall synergistic relationships and organizations are central to ensuring successful changes. Are your relationships synergistic? If not how can you shift the situation or environment to make it synergistic? If they are synergistic are you moving through the four phases of synergy well?