• Try to hold the meeting in person if possible, but not over a holiday or during a family celebration, when emotions may already be running high. Avoid email, as it can lead to misunderstanding.
  • Hold the meeting in a space where everyone feels comfortable. Familiar places can reinforce old habits, so a neutral location may be preferable.
  • Err on the side of inclusiveness, especially at the beginning of the process. Inviting all family members, including spouses, ensures that everyone hears the same information firsthand.
  • Take a walk on the land beforehand if possible to give everyone an opportunity to reflect on what the land means to him or her.
  • Ask everyone to avoid making assumptions and try to keep an open mind. Criticize ideas, not people.
  • Give everyone an equal opportunity to share his or her thoughts. This may mean encouraging quiet family members to talk and asking more vocal ones to listen.
  • Use questions or "tell me more about that" to explore underlying concerns and interests.
  • Be clear about who is responsible for what and when. Establish follow-up tasks and deadlines.
  • Use the services of a trained facilitator if family dynamics suggest that your family needs assistance conducting healthy conversations and reaching consensus.

Center for Private Forests

Address

416 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802

Center for Private Forests

Address

416 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802