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The Professional-Client Relationship


Submitted By jsencial
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According to the readings done throughout this course, the most popular model for a professional-client relationship is the fiduciary; however, in some instances a paternalistic approach is regarded as the appropriate model. I hope to explain exactly what each type of relationship is as well as the benefits and shortcomings of each relationship type throughout the course of this paper. Next, I will show why the fiduciary is thought to be the best type of relationship model. As well as, how and when the paternalistic approach should be considered. In life, not all things are black and white. When it comes time to deal with situations in a gray area, having knowledge of these two types of professional-client relationships will certainly reveal themselves as being necessary.

Each model follows specific guidelines that allow for both the client and the professional to firmly understand what role they play in a professional-client relationship. Starting with the fiduciary, Bayles (1981: p. 68) says it is a relationship, “in which the professional’s superior knowledge is recognized, but the client remains a significant authority in the decision making process.” In this relationship, trust becomes a huge factor. The client, lacking the knowledge of professionals, is less capable of making a good decision on their own. He or she must be willing to trust that the professional has done everything within his or her power and knowledge to present only the best options to the client. This type of relationship isn’t simply a professional proposing an idea to a client and the client either accepting or rejecting it. It is one in which the client and professional communicate throughout the whole decision making process to ensure that both parties are satisfied with the end result. A solid example of a fiduciary relationship is between a potential homeowner and the architect

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