Doing vs. Being: Team-building, Vacations, and Life

Mar 15, 2021, Written by Sue Miley


I just got back from a ski vacation; our first as a family.  All the kids, their spouses, and my granddaughter.  This isn’t the first trip since the whirlwind of three weddings in a year, two years ago.  We have done holidays at our house and a beach trip or two.  And, of course, we have mixed and matched with most subsets of the family.  This was the first full-family, planned activities-adventure, we have had together.

And active it was.

Every day was packed with ski-school, skiing, snow mobile riding, dog sledding, or tubing.  Every activity required gear, a trek, and active participation.  (Yes, falling is active.)

We were “doing” all week.

Doing Life Together

It feels in sharp contrast to the beach trip, which was more about “being”; being together, hanging out, visiting.

I love being together, especially now that our family is in multiple states.  We like to catch-up, visit, and “be”.

It is definitely different than “doing” together.  A different dynamic takes place when we are “doing”.  Each person takes on a different role.  Dad is the organizer and mobilizer.  Son-in-law has the expertise we all rely on.  Grand-daughter shares her child-like delight, inspiring us all.

Interdependence and Team-building

When trying out a new activity we must depend on those who catch on more quickly.  The roles are fluid and, our interactions, dynamic.

I guess that is why team-building activities are just that; activities that require the utilization of the various skills of the group; along with interdependence and flexibility.  The interdependence bonds people together.  It is a must for teams and families.

Benefits of Team-building for Your Team

I see several benefits to investing in teambuilding in your small business:

  • Discovery – You find out skills that you didn’t even know someone has – it may not be on a resume.
  • Synergy – The combined expertise of the team results in a higher quality experience or deliverable, as many individual strengths come together for optimal results.
  • Bonding – as mentioned above, interdependence bonds the individuals together, improving culture, morale, and support in the team.
  • Focus – it allows individuals to focus on what they do best because they know the other team members have their back and are handling their part.
  • Training – each member of the team can help other teammates improve their skills in the areas the trainer is strongest in.

If you haven’t taken a “doing” vacation with your family, I recommend it.  You are doing life together, rather than just visiting and recanting your separate lives to each other.

As a team, I need to find some “doing” activities we can all participate in together.  We do book studies that are interactive, and obviously we work on client projects together.  We do work-life together, to some extent, now as a team.  But, I don’t think we have reached mountain peak status, with beginning skiers trying to get down the slick slope, with lots of moving and non-moving obstacles, and a team-mate next to you saying, just pizza the rest of the way down so you can slow down and not crash at the bottom.

It was terrifying; but comforting to have my calm son-in-law by my side.

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.