Talk Back

Getting The Most Out Of Family Reunions

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Intellectual capital and institutional memory involve knowledge transfer, which is important to businesses and families. Adults acquired years of education, instruction, experiences and expertise. Many family members may not be aware of the immense talent and resources available to them within the family. Such information should be shared to benefit everyone.

Reflect on the vast amount of knowledge accumulated over the years. Immediate family members may have received the benefit of some of this data; however there is still so much that could be exchanged and with other relatives. Family gatherings such as a family reunion would be an excellent venue for this to happen.

Most of the time, knowledge is transferred through our actions as we live out our values and beliefs in the home. This happens around the dinner table or other places where the family gathers to interact. If we intentionally design content and intent, we could better prepare our families for a competitive future.

The more we can tell stories of our workplaces, the more children and other relatives can learn about our jobs. This sharing of information is not designed to force them to choose the same occupation or brag about our successes, but to expose them to the job and the character traits needed to be successful. Children brought up in a supportive instructive environment have an edge when they go into the workforce.

Family reunions are a great venue to share values, family history and coach members about our collective expertise and experiences. The value of these years of experiences and connections could enrich the entire family network and net worth.

Consider setting up a procedure for the working members of your family to discuss their professions with the youth. These gatherings are often social, but can be so much more. Consider the following:

Enriching Families with the Talent from Within


Family members have received intensive training in school and on the job. Tap into this wellspring of talent and share it with others. Establish a pool of mentors to give our youth a competitive advantage in school and in the workplace.


To identify and share the wealth of information in the form of knowledge, experiences, expertise and skills within the nuclear and extended family and across the bloodline.


1. Ask family members to talk about their jobs in a workshop or panel discussion

2. Solicit questions from family members before the meeting to get everyone thinking and prepared for the session

3. Notify family of the objectives of the session and expectations of excellence from all in the family.

4. Celebrate those family members who have achieved excellence in any area whether on the job or in their education.

5. Select certain adults to roam through the reunion to ask and answer questions about their profession. They can wear name tags or buttons with their jobs or areas of expertise.

This is a brief overview of how we could stress excellence within the family and utilize the talent within to increase our greatness and fulfill our purpose. We are limited only by our creativity in developing a program to grow the talent in the family. The self confidence and feeling of collective strength will add to the esteem and image of the entire family.

Family members can model leadership in every interaction with each other. Taking advantage of these interactions will allow us to share our expertise, education and experiences and enhance the family, through living out our purpose.