chapter  10
7 Pages

Who is the boss?*

Balancing power and vulnerability in the client–consultant relationship
ByFrancesca Cardona

The hope of ‘a lucky break’ is a constant element in the artist’s engagement with work: painters, dancers, actors and musicians all wait for ‘that’ special moment when, from obscurity, they will become widely appreciated and well known. The possibility of change can evoke strong primitive anxieties: the fear of pulling apart something familiar, well established and containing. Krantz states: Effective change requires sophisticated effort. The client can also exercise a substantial degree of power by hiring a consultant. The vulnerability of asking for help brings with it the potential for negative transference. Vulnerability comes from the Latin vulnus, which means wound. ‘The power to hire’ can have a significant impact on the relationship if the consultant feels too dependent on the assignment to be able to challenge the client or to quit if he feels ineffective.