February 7, 2018
Family council meetings have an opportunity to be helpful, productive sources of collaboration for large families, yet seem to be difficult to facilitate in a positive way. Preparation and facilitation are vital components in achieving successful meetings. Strese elaborates on the importance of facilitation and gives recommendations for this in his latest article, “Effective Facilitation Can Improve Family Council Meeting Productivity.”
As large families face growth and decision-making, they can use facilitators to provide order and safety during hard conversations. This method prevents frustration and disagreements that could be harmful to family dynamics. The training and support from an outside facilitator can lighten the mood of these meetings and create a positive working relationship for family members. “This article illuminates some key techniques and the importance of a productive and healthy family meeting,” said Strese. “A well-planned and facilitated family meeting can provide much needed clarity on goals for a family council, communication guidelines, and role clarity within the family enterprise.”
In addition to adding a facilitator to family council meetings, Strese recommends training in “emotional intelligence” to develop awareness of trust, conflict and empathy in relationships. This training is often a catalyst for the facilitator to work from in family meetings. In working as translators, effective facilitators can navigate the emotional responses that family members may be dealing with.
Strese recommends a facilitation technique, “nominal process,” to foster participation and set guidelines for reactions to various topics. Active listening and providing examples of shared values are also recommendations for successful facilitation. These recommendations serve to instill healthy communication norms and encourage healthy dialogue. The outside support from a facilitator is the key ingredient to a thriving family council environment.
You can view Strese’s full article here: Family Business Magazine-Jeff Strese