Families try to spend time together so that they can build stronger bonds. They get together during holidays, sharing meals together, watching movies together, going shopping together, playing games together…. The question is: Does spending time together build stronger bonds?
Family dynamics have similarities with team dynamics. You are born into a family and do not choose your family members. Teams are similar. For most of the teams that we belong to, we don’t get to choose the team members. Some members you bond with immediately, some members you like and some members you don’t get along with.
What team dynamics research shows us is the importance of purpose and intentional interactions. Study after study, it shows that there is no strong correlation in team dynamics with the number of hours the team members spend together. In reality, if there is negative team dynamic, spending more time together without proper guidance can worsen the relationship rather than improving it.
What matters is how people spend time together. What matters most is sharing common goals. Sharing common goals that all members believe in brings the members into a team. Then, working together towards the common goal builds the bond that the team needs in order to stay strong and create the team dynamic and synergy. This is when 1 + 1 + 1 = 5.
Families spending time together just for the sake of spending time together is not positive. Families forcing their members to spend time together and putting guilt on those who avoid the get-togethers makes the relationship worse. Families who plan for their time together, prepare for it and make it meaningful will build strong ties. Having conversations that allow people to share their thoughts and feelings creates an emotionally and psychologically safe environment where trust grows.
How do you spend time with your family?