Stage 0.10  Client Intentions and Values

The word "change" can be a very hot button, indeed. If you are the self-appointed "change agent," and I am the one you are planning on changing, I am not likely to welcome you with open arms. Who has the right to change anyone, after all!

As the hero farmer of the old western movie might say: 

"That railroad ain't comin' through my land."

Thus, it is important for the would-be change agent to get straight early on about some value issues that swirl around the change process. 

For example: 
When does change effort become manipulation? 
When does change effort become coercion? 
Is there such a thing as "justified manipulation" or even "justified coercion"?
Do we have a right to tell other people what they should do?
Can we justify serious intervention into other people's lives? 
What is a 'just'cause?
Is justice for some, injustice for others?

Such questions don't necessarily arise or come to the forefront of a change process very often, but they are always there lurking somewhere in the background in any encounter between two people, when one is supposedly providing a service to the other. As societies progress, the unwritten rules of  such encounters can change. Just one example is the relationship between doctor and patient. At one time it was assumed that the doctor knew best what was good for the patient. More recently, it has been recognized that the patient has an important role to play, both in describing what is wrong and understanding what the doctor is trying to do and why.