What issues are at play in this situation?

Margaret and her husband, Rupert, both in their mid-sixties, have been working with Anil, their investment counselor, for the last ten years. Recently, Rupert was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. At the moment, he is lucid more often than not, but the doctors suggest that within a few months, things will take a turn for the worse. Concerned about how Rupert’s condition will impact their financial situation in the short term (e.g., additional copays, out-of-pocket expenses) as well as the growing (and sad) likelihood that Margaret will have to deal with more (and soon all) of the financial duties relating to their estate, Margaret makes an appointment to see Anil. She shares with him the situation, and tells Anil that some changes need to be made in their portfolio. Anil asks Margaret a few questions, but becomes convinced that she is overreacting, and that he needs to keep things the way they’ve been to maximize her returns. Anil explains his logic, and Margaret—not accustomed to playing a key role in such discussions—hesitatingly agrees. However, after pondering her conversation with Anil and chatting with a few friends, Margaret has second thoughts. She calls and leaves a message for Anil. Hours later, there is no response, so Margaret calls again, and transfers to the operator. She asks to speak to Anil’s manager, Melinda. Melinda offers to have Margaret work with a different investment counselor, but now Margaret feels bad; after all, as far as she knows, Anil has performed well to this point. But Margaret can’t help but think that Anil really didn’t listen to her. Now Margaret doesn’t know what to do . . .

1. What issues are at play in this situation? 2. How effectively did Margaret communicate in this scenario? Explain. 3. How effectively did Anil communicate in this scenario? Explain. 4. What would you do if you were Melinda? Why? 5. What would you do if you were Margaret? Why? 6. What would you do if you were Anil? Why?

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