Some thoughts about family meetings, especially for those meetings focusing on the family business. From my experience, as the business goes through the generations, and more owners are at the table, the decisions and discussions can often be fraught with challenges, sometimes acrimony. You want to try to remove all of the controversy so that the meeting can be conducted civilly and productively. How do you do this?
1. the best way is to have a facilitator. This facilitator should familiar with the family, its business and the dynamics amongst family members
2. if a facilitator is not possible, then you have to set ground rules for the meetings. This blog post will discuss this more fully.
The most important aspect of any meeting is that amongst and between the meeting participants, there is an acceptable level of trust and respect. This must be accompanied by the ability to create a safe environment where one can voice one’s opinion, whether or not it is in agreement with the majority view. What is said in the room, should stay in the room.
Others have written plenty and in more detail on this subject. See an example below.
Do not be afraid of having a family meeting, when the time is right. The rewards of open, honest and fruitful discussions can actually strengthen the family relationships and its business.
Learn, think, apply.