Family meetings are a method of bringing family members together to discuss issues that are important to the family and the business.
A family meeting is a forum for family members to share their dreams and aspirations, learn about the business, discuss problems and make plans for the future. Family meetings are a vehicle for members to share and preserve family traditions and values. Family meetings should involve all members of a family who are involved in or have an interest in the family business.
Effective family meetings offer many benefits:
Meetings can help unite the family. Meetings give family members an opportunity to discuss concerns they share. Families that focus on things that they have in common have less discord than those that focus on things that divide them. Divisions do need to be discussed but the focus should be on the positives. The family can together explore its values, meaning, and visions.
Meetings can build a stronger business. If people don't understand or appreciate what the business is doing or why it is going the direction it is, the whole team can't pull together. When all family members understand the business, better decisions about the future of the business can be made.
Meetings are a tool to developing meaningful communication leading to understanding and trust.
Meetings open the way for discussions regarding succession.
Meetings provide an avenue to discuss and resolve conflicts. All families have conflict. How that conflict is handled is what separates smooth functioning families from conflicted ones. Some families mistakenly think that avoiding conflict is the best solution. In reality, very few issues get resolved by ignoring them.
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posted by Dr. Harlan Hughes 9:02 PM