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Action and reflection: the emotional dance between consultant and client

Author: Kets de Vries, Manfred F. R. INSEAD Area: Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise Series: Working Paper ; 2009/21/EFE/IGLC Publisher: Fontainebleau : INSEAD, 2009.Language: EnglishDescription: 25 p.Type of document: INSEAD Working Paper Online Access: Click here Abstract: In this article, I explore subtle, mostly out-of-awareness dialogues between consultants and clients and highlight how consultants use themselves as an “instrument” when dealing with their clients—using their own reactions to help interpret what the client is trying to transmit to them. To deconstruct these dialogues, I touch on the meaning of transference and countertransference, processes originating from early mother-infant communication and essential to the ability “to listen with the third ear.” I discuss four types of transference-countertransference interface between consultant and client and identify the indicators to which consultants need to pay attention when dealing with their clients. I also explore dysfunctional communication patterns.
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In this article, I explore subtle, mostly out-of-awareness dialogues between consultants and clients and highlight how consultants use themselves as an “instrument” when dealing with their clients—using their own reactions to help interpret what the client is trying to transmit to them. To deconstruct these dialogues, I touch on the meaning of transference and countertransference, processes originating from early mother-infant communication and essential to the ability “to listen with the third ear.” I discuss four types of transference-countertransference interface between consultant and client and identify the indicators to which consultants need to pay attention when dealing with their clients. I also explore dysfunctional communication patterns.

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