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Collaborating Skills Help Us Win in Vegas!

We recently took a spring break trip to Las Vegas with our two sons, ages 15 and 18. Typically, my family has traveled well together. Even when my children were young, they adapted easily, and so did my husband and me. All the power struggles, daily irritations, and stressors of life often melted away. Now that the kids are older, I wasn’t sure it would go as well. Group resilience always ebbs and flows, and this is particularly true for families. Add teenagers and unexpected traveling issues into the mix, and the dynamics can become even more challenging. But I knew the few moments we have left with our kids were precious, for they are growing and beginning to shape their own worlds with less of our influence. 

For the most part, we had a great time engaging in all the classic, family-friendly activities Las Vegas has to offer. We attended a couple of magic shows, marveled at the sheer extravagance of the Las Vegas Strip, and unexpectedly bonded over several rounds of Top Golf. We even renewed our marriage vows with a singing Elvis, which was even more fun than I had thought it would be. 

However, the trip was not without its bumps. My oldest son and I had planned to spend a day at the Hoover Dam, but we overslept and missed our tour, which meant we had to change plans—which affected what my husband had organized with our youngest son. When such disruptions occur, I rely not only on my own Personal Resilience and my Centering Skills but also on our Collaborating Skills.

I noticed that my husband and youngest son were a bit disappointed, so at breakfast, I made sure to thank them for being flexible with their plans (the Collaborating Skills of Noticing Group and Appreciating Others). Together, we crafted a new itinerary for our final vacation day (the Collaborating Skill of Seeking Agreements). By the day’s end, we all had made compromises based on our agreed-upon plan (Collaborating Skills of Honoring Agreements and Contributing Intentionally). Though we never explicitly named these Collaborating Skills, by using them, we worked more effectively as a group. 

One common question we encounter about Collaborating Skills is, “What if other people in our group won’t use these skills?” Of course, we cannot force someone to adopt behaviors they resist. However, by exposing them to the We Are Resilient™ skills and modeling these behaviors, we invite them into a space that is more centered, connected, and collaborative. These skills helped us overcome our challenges and increased our group resilience, so we had more fun together! 

How can Collaborating Skills help your group be more successful? 

With Gratitude, 

Kristie and the Dovetail Team 

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