How to Have a Successful Family Meeting


It can be a bit daunting to get started when calling in a family meeting. We understand that holding family meetings is something we should do regularly to connect, solve problems, and develop a family vision. Family meetings can help to strengthen our initial bonds and make plans for the future. However, it can feel like a huge task to get your own family started due to emotions, boundaries, and even the idea of organizing your own. Holding a family meeting without focus could lead to discussions that lack purpose or feel chaotic. If you approach your family meetings with a plan, you will start to see the success in your newly found connections within your family. Here is a plan to help anyone have more successful family meetings.


Like any meeting, it’s a good idea to choose a day that will work with everyone in your family. Choose a day that works for everyone where every family member can come together and spend an hour. Traditionally, we would love to connect with our families physically. Due to current busy lifestyles, lockdowns, and changes, we can now turn to technology to reach out and have our family meetings digitally or even with phone calls. The idea is that we choose a time and day and stick with it to help establish a routine and to include everyone. Setting time for your family meetings will also help separate them from family gatherings or socializing to help keep your sessions focused.

Sample Family Meeting Agenda-1

It’s so easy to get off-topic or be distracted with so many loved ones together that it can cause your family meetings to lack focus. You should treat your family meetings with a sense of structure and help get the most from them. It’s essential to communicate why you have your family meeting, so your meeting has a purpose. Having a plan can do just that, and something as simple as a sheet of paper with your family meetings can benefit everyone. List off topics you want to discuss, keep a timer, and encourage everyone to write down their discussions and ideas. Included here is a simple yet effective agenda structure that everyone can use or expand on to help get the most out of family meetings.


When you call your family meeting, everyone must understand our “why.” We should be clear why we called our family together to discuss and have a forum or else, why did we have the meeting in the first place? Being vague with our words and intentions will not lead to proper accountability. It’s about being crystal clear regarding the issues and what you want to happen to make sure the expectations come fruition. In the absence of proper direction, most of us will do what we feel is right or act out in our emotions. It’s good to consider the fragility of specific topics, individuals, and the severity of our discussions by directly understanding the impact these topics might have.


You might have a family meeting to discuss critical or pressing issues such as plans for a loved one when they get sick, distribution of family photos, the wishes for long-term care or the sharing of sentimental items once someone has passed. Please invite your family to propose discussion topics to brainstorm and discuss them and allow people to speak and heard. Let all individuals in your family have a chance to take their time to discuss their feelings, solutions and encourage feedback.

Bringing in a Family Facillitor to help your family on this path of intentional conversation can help your family move forward. A facilitator can help keep the family accountable, move on, and achieve the family objectives. The idea is to encourage everyone to have their say and promote healthy discussion.


With all conversations, we must come to action on what our plans will be. Once everyone has talked and brainstormed, we should start to make plans on how everyone as a family will set those discussions in action. Write down what plans everyone has contributed and agree on the next steps to see them come through. Follow up on those plans in your next meeting so that your family meetings have value.

In closing, if we take a positive step towards enabling regular structured family meetings, we can help to find the value in having them. Ensuring that everyone has their say and following up on our plans can help guide our families towards togetherness, success and respect for every member. Having regular family meetings will help address the more essential or painful issues we might be dancing around but help us celebrate our family and the joy we have in the little things that make us who we are. Try using these steps and a schedule at your next family meeting, and let me know how it is working for your family meetings.

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