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Stage 0.9  The Real CARE Is Hidden from View


It is possible for the members of the client system to signal one concern to the change agent while they really want help on another. It is important for the change agent who is invited in to a situation to:

first, listen carefully to what the manifest concern is,

     and

second, consider that this might not be the real concern.

There are a variety of reasons why clients may not be able to articulate their real concerns. One might be defensiveness or embarrassment. Another might be simply inability to articulate what is really bothering them. 
Asking for outside help, let us say, on curriculum reform to introduce a multicultural studies program, might be the manifest request when the underlying problem is racial tension. Change agents should always enter the situation with an open mind but be prepared to view the presented concern skeptically. They should look for any signs that contradict the priority claim of this conern and should develop their own lists of concerns independently to see if they match up.