What’s in a name? Use the right words to describe the family meeting

Drew Mendoza
Drew Mendoza

The caller told me that in her family, they have a family meeting every six months.  I asked who is invited to the meeting: “All of the family members who own stock” she said.  Spouses? “Nope.”  Siblings who don’t work at the business?  “No”.  Adult children in the next generation in college? “Of course not.”

Another (and more descriptive) name for these gatherings would be a shareholder meeting.  Why does it matter?  To my thinking, excluding spouses, the next generation or any siblings (not working in the business) from a family meeting runs the risk of communicating ‘You’re not a part of the family.’

Eckrich and McClure’s book The Family Council Handbook does a nice job of differentiating among all the many different sorts of meetings


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