A strong creative relationship can carry a change program through the most difficult obstacles. Your relationship with a prospective client system must be carefully planned and thought through if you are going to succeed with a project. This stage provides some specific criteria to help you assess your relationship with a client. If you know where you stand and know how your client sees you, you will be in a better position to build this relationship as the change effort progresses.

‘Relate’ involves two connected major tasks:

One. Understand the client as a social system, how the people and component social parts relate to one another, and to the larger social world in which they are embedded, and​

Two. Understand and manage your relationship to the client.

Stage 1: RELATE


The change agent must develop good relations with key members of the system and assist members to relate better among themselves to the point that they are capable of collective action. Clearly this does not all happen quickly. Rather, as the change effort proceeds, the change agent reaches out to more and more members of the system, and, as members come to grips with the concern and the challenge of problem solving, they become more interconnected and more able to collaborate.