Book Review: Kitchen Table To the Conference Table: Family Business Communication

Joanna Sorocki, Editorial Assistant,
Working with any set of people day-in and day-out can be stressful. Office culture determines hierarchy for promotions and social status. Gossip and rumors pervade modern office culture these days. Now, imagine if those people were your family. Laura Michaud’s book From the Kitchen Table To the Conference Table: Family Business Communication is an excellent resource in solving those complexities.

“When asked family business owners and members cite the following items as being the most stressful,” Michaud writes. “What’s interesting is that each of the items listed is a small aspect of one larger concern: communication/relationship issues.”
Michaud writes from her own experience being a member of a family business and an advisor to other families. Her expertise is evident by her real-life problems and solutions in her examples.
Michaud writes that family business can be rewarding but presents many challenges as well. Familiarity often allows business members to act on emotions. For some members it is hard to distinguish between home and business behaviors.
She writes about communication and understanding in a business setting and encourages family meetings outside of the office, where everyone has an equal footing to discuss business decisions.
Her book explains about the different behavioral types and how each person should learn to interact with each other to maximize success. As each person recognizes their differences and begins to appreciate each other, they can assign each family member to a task that fits their behavioral type.
The book is well laid out and includes an excellent “Action Item” at the end of each chapter that allows readers to evaluate their behavior types and how they can better communicate and understand other family business members.
Laura Michaud’s newsletter is available online at
Her book From the Kitchen Table To the Conference Table: Family Business Communication is available at for $17.95.

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