Stage 2.5   Collaboration In Making The Diagnosis

Change agents should not assume the task of diagnosis as their own exclusive responsibility. We cannot overempha­size the importance of involving clients in the analysis of their own problems and opportunities. Having the clients' parti­cipation in the decision-making and planning of the change process from this stage onward is an important prerequisite for their later identification with the change effort. At the very least, you should work collaboratively so that your perceptions of problems and needs are shared by the client. At best, you should provide guidance while clients make their own exami­nation of the situation. Thereby the findings are acceptable by virtue of being their own.



Communication is ...the sum total of information about feelings, attitudes and wishes, transmitted directly and indirectly, consciously and unconsciously. Whenever social equilibrium is upset, communication occurs. It is the means ... by which a system takes corrective action in the presence of difficulty ... ln a hierarchial structure, communication must proceed both ways, up and down. Upward communication can be effective only when the bottom and middle are free from any sense of intimidation and when the top accepts and even seeks communication from below. Lippitt, Watson, & Westley 6

"Change agents differ greatly in the extent to which they try to share their diagnostic orientations. Some agents believe that the client's work toward change in some cases can be best sustained by a policy which with­holds some of the agent's information and analysis. At the opposite extreme, other agents think that clients should always participate fully in the fact­finding process and that their diagnostic understanding should emerge spontaneously from their own analysis of the facts as they are revealed. These agents em­phasize the client's emotional commitment to change goals which the client himself has formulated." Lippitt, Watson, & Westley 7