Inquiry: They shouldn’t systematically and deliberately act they way their superiors want

They shouldn’t say and do exactly what their superiors want to hear and see. (People in several groups and organizations I am familiar with who systematically and deliberately say and do exactly what their superior wants to hear and see.)

  1. True?
    Yes. I can find where it feels true. I can find stories telling me it is true.
  2. Sure it is true?
    No. It’s just an opinion.
  3. What happens when I believe that story?
    • I feel it is true. I fuel other stories telling me it is true. I filter out information that fits the initial belief. I interpret situations to fit and support my belief.
    • I metaphorically roll my eyes when people say or do exactly what their superiors want to hear and see.
    • I am baffled that their superiors fall for it. Don’t they recognize that these people are intentionally playing the game of giving them what they want to hear and see?
    • I am annoyed when they get privileged positions or get ahead. It is difficult for me to understand that their superiors does not rather want someone who also questions them and the habitual ways of doing things in the organization. Isn’t that how you can notice and work with blind spots? Renew and refresh ways of doing things? Stay alert? Don’t they know that their best supporters are the ones who can play devil’s advocate and question assumptions?
    • I take pride in openly questioning the assumptions of my own group, instead of of outgroups.
  4. Who would I be without that story?
    • More receptive to acknowledging the validity in other viewpoints. Receptive to find the benefits in how they are doing it.
  5. Turnarounds.
    • They should say/do what their superiors want to hear/see.
      • Yes. It makes it easy for them, since it is often very straightforward to know what is expected. And it makes it easy for their superiors, since they don’t rock the boat. It makes it possible for them all to continue as they have in the past, and on the same path.
      • It helps me notice my own beliefs around this, and the ways I limit myself. I am often reluctant to say/do the most obvious and what is expected, so I limit myself in that way.
    • I should say/do what my superiors want to hear/see.
      • Yes, it would help me break out of the mold. It opens up the terrain for me.
    • I shouldn’t say/do what my superiors want to hear/see.
      • Hm. That’s often what happens. It is my familiar identity. Although at times, I don’t speak up even if I have the impulse to do so. It may be better for me to speak up more freely instead of sensuring myself. It would make it clearer to myself when I try to fit into a group that is not a good match. (Which I often do.) And I may more actively seek out and become involved with groups that welcome a more free expression and exploration of views and approaches. Or I may be more active in seeking out and joining groups I already know about which do this, such as the Byron Katie, A.H. Almaas, and Adyashanti worlds. I initially thought I already took my own advice, but I now see where I don’t and how it would benefit me to do so.

After doing this inquiry I see, and equally importantly feel, how there are genuine benefits to how they are doing it, and also that the advice is for myself. They know what to say and do, and get ahead. They don’t rock the boat, which means their group can continue their work as they are used to. And I am not taking the advice for myself as much as I could. If I do, it will be freeing for me in the situation, and also in leaving groups where there is not a good match, and joining groups where there is a better match.

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