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Tips For Hosting a Healthy Family Meeting

A family meeting is simply a gathering of family members who are all impacted by or involved with an issue. You might have a family meeting to review mom’s estate plan, to craft a plan for your aging parents’ health care, to stage an intervention for a family member struggling with addiction, or to discuss family business planning. As you can imagine, the agenda and planning for each of these different types of meetings looks different, but there are some steps you can take to support success for any type of meeting.

What makes a family meeting successful?

Do your homework before the meeting. The host should take time with individual family members prior to the meeting to understand their goals and priorities, share necessary planning information, and address “hot buttons” that could derail success.

Create an agenda. Set realistic time frames for each topic. Ask different family members to lead portions of the meeting to increase participation and energy for the discussion.

Share the meeting goals with attendees so everyone has a clear vision of the meeting purpose.

Be thoughtful in scheduling the meeting time and location. Christmas morning probably isn’t the right time. Find a neutral location where all attendees will feel comfortable and welcome.

How would a family use the family meeting ground rules?

Families can use the ground rules as is or as a starting place for creating their own rules of engagement. Share the ground rules with the family before the meeting so everyone understands expectations. Some families find it helpful to assign different family members the role of “policing” certain rules. For example, maybe one family member can help others to be mindful of frequently checking their phone or email during the conversation. Another family member might listen for people making “we” statements when an “I” statement would be more honest and direct.

The ground rules aren’t necessarily everyone’s natural tendencies, expect that it might take a little practice to make these ground rules part of standard family interaction.

What else might families consider when thinking about family meetings?

Families, especially those with a family business or shared assets, may find it helpful to spend the time to craft a family mission statement. A family mission statement allows the family to articulate shared goals and values and can serve as a guiding point for structuring governance or a decision-making policy.

Families who learn to communicate and make decisions together build the trust which is necessary for family unity and long-term success.

  1. Be present
  2. Be respectful in words, body language, and action
  3. Listen
  4. Be patient
  5. Own your views as your own
  6. Be willing to edit what you say so it comes across better
  7. Tolerate tension in yourself and in the group
  8. Avoid indirect communication

Tags: Published Articles

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Tips For Hosting a Healthy Family Meeting

A family meeting is simply a gathering of family members who are all impacted by or involved with an issue. You might have a family meeting to review mom’s estate plan, to craft a plan for your aging parents’ health care, to stage an intervention for a family member struggling with addiction, or to discuss family business planning. As you can imagine, the agenda and planning for each of these different types of meetings looks different, but there are some steps you can take to support success for any type of meeting.

What makes a family meeting successful?

Do your homework before the meeting. The host should take time with individual family members prior to the meeting to understand their goals and priorities, share necessary planning information, and address “hot buttons” that could derail success.

Create an agenda. Set realistic time frames for each topic. Ask different family members to lead portions of the meeting to increase participation and energy for the discussion.

Share the meeting goals with attendees so everyone has a clear vision of the meeting purpose.

Be thoughtful in scheduling the meeting time and location. Christmas morning probably isn’t the right time. Find a neutral location where all attendees will feel comfortable and welcome.

How would a family use the family meeting ground rules?

Families can use the ground rules as is or as a starting place for creating their own rules of engagement. Share the ground rules with the family before the meeting so everyone understands expectations. Some families find it helpful to assign different family members the role of “policing” certain rules. For example, maybe one family member can help others to be mindful of frequently checking their phone or email during the conversation. Another family member might listen for people making “we” statements when an “I” statement would be more honest and direct.

The ground rules aren’t necessarily everyone’s natural tendencies, expect that it might take a little practice to make these ground rules part of standard family interaction.

What else might families consider when thinking about family meetings?

Families, especially those with a family business or shared assets, may find it helpful to spend the time to craft a family mission statement. A family mission statement allows the family to articulate shared goals and values and can serve as a guiding point for structuring governance or a decision-making policy.

Families who learn to communicate and make decisions together build the trust which is necessary for family unity and long-term success.

  1. Be present
  2. Be respectful in words, body language, and action
  3. Listen
  4. Be patient
  5. Own your views as your own
  6. Be willing to edit what you say so it comes across better
  7. Tolerate tension in yourself and in the group
  8. Avoid indirect communication

Tags: Published Articles

FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

Tips For Hosting a Healthy Family Meeting

A family meeting is simply a gathering of family members who are all impacted by or involved with an issue. You might have a family meeting to review mom’s estate plan, to craft a plan for your aging parents’ health care, to stage an intervention for a family member struggling with addiction, or to discuss family business planning. As you can imagine, the agenda and planning for each of these different types of meetings looks different, but there are some steps you can take to support success for any type of meeting.

What makes a family meeting successful?

Do your homework before the meeting. The host should take time with individual family members prior to the meeting to understand their goals and priorities, share necessary planning information, and address “hot buttons” that could derail success.

Create an agenda. Set realistic time frames for each topic. Ask different family members to lead portions of the meeting to increase participation and energy for the discussion.

Share the meeting goals with attendees so everyone has a clear vision of the meeting purpose.

Be thoughtful in scheduling the meeting time and location. Christmas morning probably isn’t the right time. Find a neutral location where all attendees will feel comfortable and welcome.

How would a family use the family meeting ground rules?

Families can use the ground rules as is or as a starting place for creating their own rules of engagement. Share the ground rules with the family before the meeting so everyone understands expectations. Some families find it helpful to assign different family members the role of “policing” certain rules. For example, maybe one family member can help others to be mindful of frequently checking their phone or email during the conversation. Another family member might listen for people making “we” statements when an “I” statement would be more honest and direct.

The ground rules aren’t necessarily everyone’s natural tendencies, expect that it might take a little practice to make these ground rules part of standard family interaction.

What else might families consider when thinking about family meetings?

Families, especially those with a family business or shared assets, may find it helpful to spend the time to craft a family mission statement. A family mission statement allows the family to articulate shared goals and values and can serve as a guiding point for structuring governance or a decision-making policy.

Families who learn to communicate and make decisions together build the trust which is necessary for family unity and long-term success.

  1. Be present
  2. Be respectful in words, body language, and action
  3. Listen
  4. Be patient
  5. Own your views as your own
  6. Be willing to edit what you say so it comes across better
  7. Tolerate tension in yourself and in the group
  8. Avoid indirect communication

Tags: Published Articles

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