The facilitated family meeting is a safe place to deal with tough issues, create certainty, and a roadmap for the future. As written by author, consultant and professional mediator, Lance Woodbury, “when it comes to family businesses, management, succession and estate planning, the conversational dance that occurs between generations can be downright frustrating”. In addition to creating a time and space for safe and open discussion, consider the goals and values of the people involved to create clarity and dispel some of the myths, fears and misunderstandings that may be lurking in your family and business.
The conversations that flow out of the family meetings can be risky, but are essential. Without them, people make assumptions, which often lead to conflict that the silence is intended to avoid. When it comes to family business decisions regarding ownership and management, don’t let your family “pass in the night”.