Research shows that one of the main contributors to the dissipation of significant family wealth is a breakdown in communication among family members. Effective communication has several components and most family meeting facilitators and wealth coaches find starting with teaching you about your own communication style or personality temperament is critical – that is, how you naturally communicate to others and how you tend to receive or take in information from others. It is arguably necessary to learn because we first should become more self-aware and mindful of how to communicate with one another (and in a group dynamic) so that the conversation remains productive and not overshadowed by emotional triggers that can take us in a different direction unrelated to the topic of discussion. Shouting at each other is communication, but is it effective communication?
Even still, when it comes to co-ownership and co-management of family wealth for the benefit of several family members, to maximize success communication has to be more than just understanding our own and each other’s communication styles. Equally important is what type of information must be (or shouldn’t be) communicated, when should communication happen, how often, to who or whom, and in what format and forum? With so many components that should be given attention to, having a communication plan keeps dissemination of information flow consistent and reliable.
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