June 12th, 2019
Whether we at Legacy Capitals are facilitating a multigenerational family retreat with one of our family-clients, or training Advisors to facilitate family meetings themselves, it is important that the stage is set properly to ensure the family has a productive and meaningful experience. To this end, a few important steps are involved in properly setting the stage for success:
1. Prior to the family meeting taking place, a pre-meeting call should be conducted with each of the adult family members who will be participating in the family meeting. The primary purpose of these calls are to build rapport with each family member, and understand each family member’s goals for the meeting, any concerns they may have about the meeting, and their overall perspective (e.g., strengths and opportunities) of their family.
2. Creating a family meeting agenda is very important to the process. Conducting the pre-meeting calls will help inform what topics should be on the family meeting agenda (e.g., shared family values, family philanthropy, financial education, the family’s multigenerational vision). For Advisors who are new to facilitating family meetings, we suggest that the family meeting agenda should have two to three agenda topics and the meeting should last about two to three hours.
3. It is important to begin the family meeting by having the family establish their family etiquette guidelines for the meeting. In other words, how they agree to be and interact with one another during the meeting. Some common examples of family meeting etiquette are: seek solutions to challenges, stay open to learning, don’t speak for other family members, don’t interrupt others, turn off devices until the break, and each family member is expected to actively participate during the meeting. In a couple of the recent multi-day, multigenerational family retreats Legacy Capitals has conducted, the families established the following etiquette guidelines which positively set the tone for their respective family meetings: “Don’t call other family members out, call them in.” “Even though we recognize there are two generations sitting around the table, we will speak to each other as if we were peers.”
If you are an Advisor who wants to increase your competence and confidence facilitating family meetings with your clients or have Legacy Capitals co-facilitate the meetings with you, please contact us at 609.917.0161 or click on this link.
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