但是布鲁斯•费勒说，如果这是你和家人召开的会议，结果却可能让你感到惊讶。他是新书《幸福家庭的秘诀》（The Secrets of Happy Families）的作者，这本书提倡采用商业领域以研究为基础的最佳方法，用于管理不同人士（他们恰巧和你有同样的姓氏）构成的另一个复杂组织。
路易莎•罗杰斯是路易莎罗杰斯通信公司（Louisa Rogers Communications）的老板，她确立了每周三上午7点至8点和丈夫召开每周会议的传统，他们会利用这个指定的时间来讨论那些通常会导致抱怨和唠叨的婚姻问题，包括：财务、家务活、日程、假期、待办事项等等。她说：“如果出现任何破坏感情的问题，我们都会‘放在一边’——就像商务会议中‘暂停’浏览图标页面一样——我们知道需要先单独交流感情问题，然后再来处理业务问题。接下来，我们会在下周的商务会议上重新讨论原来的问题。我们知道，举行每周商务会议会释放我们生活中的很多压力，我们学会了如何区分战略问题和情感问题。”
If your workday schedule includes meeting after meeting, the last thing you want to schedule on your weekend is another get-together with an agenda, right?
If it's a meeting with your family, you might be surprised by the results, says Bruce Feiler, author of the new book The Secrets of Happy Families, which advocates using research-based best practices from the business world for running another complicated organization of diverse people (who just happen to share your last name).
"I think that the two big changes in the family in the last generation are, first, that women have gone into the workplace, and that has been discussed endlessly," says Feiler in a telephone interview from -- appropriately enough -- his childhood bedroom, where he was staying while speaking in his hometown of Savannah, Ga. "But the other change is just as significant and is almost never discussed: Men have been flooding into the home space. They're much more involved in parenting by every measure than their fathers were."
Such modern parents, well-versed in business, "are fed up with the same tired advice from the family improvement industry," he says. Instead, "they are trying to negotiate their own roles as working parents, and they're much more interested in results." When it comes to managing people, they say, "Tell me what works."
That's a question organizations have been studying -- with much bigger budgets than family counselors have -- for decades. Ironically, some of the best ideas, Feiler suggests, are the ones that inspire the most eye-rolling at work.
1. Start a staff meeting
Can your children suggest new ideas for family life in a context where they'll be heard? Can they tell you what's working and what isn't? "Nothing is top-down anymore. Business is not top-down anymore, government is not top-down anymore," notes Feiler. "You have to let the best ideas win. You have to take ideas from parents, from children, and then discuss it." The goal? "To be able to change in real time."
A short, regular meeting is a perfect occasion for such debates. Yes, many corporate warriors suffer from meeting fatigue, but "in the workplace, you might have 10 meetings in a day, whereas in a family you have absolutely no meetings. One 20-minute meeting can make a massive difference."
Louisa Rogers, owner of Louisa Rogers Communications, instituted a weekly meeting on Wednesday mornings from 7-8 a.m. with her husband so they'd have a designated time for discussing those marital issues that often lead to complaints and nagging: finances, house stuff, calendar, vacations, to-do items, etc. "If any issue got emotionally sticky, we'd put it aside" -- like the "parking lot" flip chart page during a business meeting -- "knowing we'd need to have a separate conversation first about the emotions before we could deal with the 'business' part. Then we would revisit the original issue at the following week's business meeting. Knowing we'd have this weekly business meeting took a lot of stress out of our lives, and we learned how to separate tactical issues from emotional ones."