Top Ten Communication Tips

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Use These Tips to Have Productive Discussions

Do you consider yourself a leader? Here is the opportunity to lead the conversation about mortality and planning with family and friends. While the subject matter itself  can be fraught with difficulty, having a platform from which to communicate will help.  Like having a neutral third party in the room, CheckOutPlan helps people and their families have those difficult

discussions with a guided process and pre-written letters that help you say the things you need to say and encourages responses from loved ones. Most people consider death with fear and concern… It’s only natural. What are their main concerns? Try to think about these concerns when you speaking to them about building your end-of-life plan.

  1. Know your audience
    When reaching out to let people know about your CheckOutPlan, include those closest in the conversation about end-of-life planning. Their initial reaction may be as simple as concern for your well-being, but assuring loved ones that this planning will help to support them in their time of need will help soften the message. As well, it may help to make your loved ones part of your plan. Give them an active role by including them on your team.
  2. Use the personal touch
    It’s often better to pick up the phone rather than email.

  3. Make notes first
    Write down the things you want to say before making that call.

  4. Consider your words carefully
    If communicating by email, make sure to check your message before you hit send.

  5. Be brief, yet specific
    Avoid extra words/phrases wherever possible. Try to keep emotion out of conversations about your passing as much as is possible — Be warm and compassionate — but stick to the facts.

  6. Think before you speak
    If communicating by phone or in person, think before you speak and remain calm when discussing plans with family and friends. Smile. Be warm. Be kind and thoughtful. Its not an easy conversation but your calm and kind manner will set the tone for a productive discussion.

  7. You’re the boss
    Treating people with respect is essential. Be a leader, but show respect and try not to assume anyone’s reaction. Listen.

  8. A bit of humour helps
    In being proactive about your end-of-life planning, throwing in a bit of humour will make others feel more comfortable.

  9. Be open and answer questions
    Welcome questions and listen, listen, listen to their concerns. Be ready with basic answers where possible.

  10. Consider the feelings and fears of your audience
    It is natural to fear death and and the unknown. Having “The Talk” and proactively planning your end-of-life events can provide a sense of control and therefore, calm. Rest easy knowing you have taken positive steps and helped your circle of friend and family to understand why and how.

Check-Out helps families plan their end-of-life events, store their memories and more. Discover how easy and rewarding it is to lead the conversation and planning about the other certainty. Tell your stories and build a plan that will support your family and friends when they need it most!

Visit to discover how today.

Article by Check-Out Planning Services Ltd. Copyright © 2019

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Article: Psychology Today: “We Need to Talk About Dying”

Book: “Talking About Death Won’t Kill You” (ECW Press)
Kathy Kortes-Miller, author

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