Courageous Conversations

I recently published an article in Business Insider about courageous conversations every leader should have. It is also posted here.

I call these conversations “courageous” because they require a lot of care and confidence.

In business, these conversations are known as contingency planning and preventive actions for emergencies and for when things go wrong.

The same kind of planning is needed in your personal life as well.

You need to be able to ask: If this happens, then what?

I found my first conversation was with myself. I was going away to Rome, and realized I had no contingency plans in place—no documents or instructions in case of emergency.

I was a little freaked at first, but realized that a set of instructions is necessary—to protect me and my family.

Following is a brief description of what I call the essential 4: your will, power of attorney, health care proxy and living will.

The will: Is your directive upon your death–who is to carry out your instructions and how will your assets be distributed. It can include many things, especially beneficiaries for those assets.

Power of attorney:This document indicates who can act on your behalf in financial or other matters if you are unable to do so.

Health care proxy:This document appoints an individual—friend or family member– who can make medical decisions on your behalf.

Living will: These are your instructions for end-of-life decisions.

The first 2 documents require an attorney. The next 2 you can execute on your own.

They all sound scary, yes?

They can be, at first, but like all things, once you face them, you no longer fear them. Most people feel frightened having these conversations because they think it’s about losing control, but having these things in place is about gaining control.

I’ll be posting more about this topic–as well as clips from my TV show about courageous conversations–in the future.

For now, this is a courageous start!


Copyright 2014 Michelle Kerrigan

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