Freedom via sincere fascination

When we can see the larger pattern in our experiences of getting mismanaged, we're on the brink of finding authentic freedom in the situation. The next step is to realize that "mismanagement" is a label that comes from a judgmental place. We're putting down those who put us down. We're in a vicious cycle of reacting to reactions, doing unto others as they do unto us. The escape from the perpetual conflict requires some forgiveness, humility and sincere fascination.

Seeing how the bullying is fallout from managers getting hammered by schooling, we can take the pain we're feeling less personally. We can understand how these managers have been driven to acts of desperation. We can see how they are mismanaging us by flying on unconscious "autopilot" rather than more perceptive intentions. We can allow that we may have some experiences in common where we've been devastated by mistakes we've made. As we seek freedom in this, we find we can forgive their transgressions and let go of our past experiences with them. We can start over.

When we've achieved some respectable competencies, it's natural to be full of ourselves. Our accomplishment sets us above those who have not achieved equal stature. We take pride in what we worked to know, practice and produce. Unfortunately, this makes us both hard to live with and easily misunderstood. Our condition calls for a slice of humble pie or a face plant so we bite the dust. Our comeuppance needs a come down. When we get off our high horse, we can see eye to eye with others who we've perceived as mismanaging us. We create a level playing field. We join together in creating freedom from the past misery.

Once we're free of resentment and superiority, we can be filled with sincere fascination. We can wonder about the manager's perceptions. We can show respect before expecting to get respected. We can seek to understand before getting understood. We can give a gift of freedom before cashing in on the one we want to receive. One way to show sincere fascination is by inquiring into the manager's understanding of some unfortunate occurrence:
  1. What's the history that led up to this as you see it? Help me through the timeline of events that ended up this way. What previous incidents now appear as forewarnings to you as we look back in hindsight?
  2. What's your theory about why this happened? How do you make sense of the evidence that this setback was not prevented, mitigated or forestalled? What explanation do you favor for understanding how it could occur at all, to this extent or at this time?
  3. What's your forecast of what will happen if nothing changes? What kind of troubles are we headed for if we do nothing to prevent a reoccurrence? What's the price you foresee being paid if we simply let this go and see what comes of it on its own?
  4. What's your recommendation for taking action? What do you think needs to be done about this right now? How do you anticipate getting a different outcome the next time around? What do you have in mind to change the situation for the better?
I've taught these four lines of inquiry to many students. They have come back to tell me their sincere inquiries transformed the managers who exhibited patterns of bullying them. Combined with forgiveness and humility, getting fascinated about these inquiries is a ticket to freedom from mismanagement. Have fun with them!

No comments:

Post a Comment