Caring vs. Curing

The tension between “caring” and “curing” is most obvious in the medical profession. Daily, medical professionals have to make a choice between caring for their patients/clients and curing them. You are thinking, clearly they can do both. And, certainly that is possible, even probable.

But, over time, a real tension always exists between caring for one’s clients and trying to cure them. Both are committed to “healing” or making the client “whole”. Yet, they take quite divergent paths to accomplishing that task.

“Curing” is committed to: Relieving the burden, Taking away the pain, Remedying the situation, Correcting the other.

“Caring” is committed to: Bearing the burden, Sharing the pain, Living in the situation, Accepting the other

Most consulting, if not all, is committed to “curing” the client. It is, in fact, what we get paid for. We argue that we will do both – care for and cure the organization with which we work. However, the dichotomies and conflicts in the different commitments should be self-evident.

I am confident that the approach to which we are ultimately committed in consulting will find its way to the surface. More importantly, it will send a surprisingly implicit message. The consultant/client relationship is either all about “the consultant”, or it is all about “the client”.

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