“Management” and Coercion

Where does “leadership” or management end and coercion begin?

I ask this because people can be made offers they can’t refuse. They are of the kind do this or else! The only way a person might be able to refuse is to resign or otherwise get the hell out of Dodge. If someone has a mortgage and a family, there is no choice, unemployment or take it up the ass. These kinds of offers are often presented as a fait accompli and they are done so with the imagined force of consensus or the decision of some committee or other. “It has been decided”.

I don’t know perhaps you have been made an offer you can’t refuse?

It is common “management” tactics to strong-arm compliance by threat, either explicit or implicit. And if you give some people the chance they cannot resist being a petty tyrant. Our will be done!

There are weaker versions of these manipulations which we do upon each other. But manipulations they remain. We try to coerce someone, by hook or by crook, into doing our will. We can use emotional black mail, real black mail, bullying, sulking, tantrums and a whole bunch of other stuff.

Having cued this up:

Have I ever tried to coerce someone into doing my will?

Why did I do that?

What were the outcomes?

Force and Compliance

You may have noticed that I have started to highlight Materialistic Forces.

Depending upon how you are and how you think you might have a differing view of the words Force and Compliance. You may imagine that being forceful is a good thing, you might like others to comply with your will. You might confuse coercion with management. There may be an idea that persuasion into or leveraging into is a good thing. And there may be denial about where manipulation starts, after all if it is for your cause, your plan, it can’t be manipulation, because your cause is “obviously” the right one.

Roll these words Force and Comply around in your mind. Do you like them? Do they make you feel somehow powerful? Or are they anathema to you?

The problem with materialistic forces is that they can seem so justifiable.

To give a mundane example. Once upon a time before RAE and REF everyone who taught at universities was on a contract that enabled them to teach and pursue some research. Along came these exercises whereby the research output was measured, and governmental funding depended upon it. So there had to be some game playing to exclude those not excelling. Some bright spark invented the notion of teaching fellows. The idea being that these were no longer research staff, so could be excluded from the assessment, yet do the “boring” teaching. So many of the less politically able lecturers of old were offered a choice, the sack (redundancy) or migrate onto a teaching fellowship. This may seem justifiable for the greater “good”. These people were then coerced onto these contracts by the use of persuasion, peer pressure and threat of loss of income. This is a use of materialistic force.

Such examples of forceful coercion into compliance can be found pretty much everywhere.

If your mind thinks comply, then forced compliance is almost inevitable. It does not always need the cosh or the bullet. It can be done by pressure, psychological pressure, threat of job loss, brow beating and peer pressure. Pressure is defined as force per unit area, the force of peers on one person creates a lot of pressure. The weight of the crowd is hard to bear by the individual. One can be manoeuvred and manipulated until there is only one choice, comply. Yah and society thinks Scientology is freaky, as usual the pots and kettles have a fair bit in common. To suggest cult-like behaviour is common in all (many) organisations is to talk to a brick wall. But forceful coercion of whatever degree is a part of “management” practice. Fill out your continuous professional development plan and meet your objectives or else!! This kind of stuff breeds petty tyrants. Do you know a few?

The cult of the personality, the sacred cow, is endemic. People like this can throw their weight around and get their will done for fear of emotional and political reprisal. One dare not get on the wrong side of a powerful diva. Those that coerce can be coerced in turn and before long force and compliance are the order of the day. We have the treacherous internecine politics so common in modern organisations. It is normal. Instead of getting things done people watch their backs and play Machiavellian games. Does this sound familiar?

This climate of force and forced compliance is something of a modern reality.

I could go on…

Having cued this up:

Is being forceful a good thing ultimately?

Should others comply with my will?

Is Materialistic Force the best and only way?

The Say-so

If you have power and are in power then you have the say-so over various things including access to and use of resources, one of these being of course, money. Holding the purse strings allows some measure of control over how things are spent / used. It means that you can determine the direction, it may not mean that you set it, but you can choose between. You have the say-so. What you want to happen generally does, in the spheres of human endeavour. Try as we might we cannot control nature nor the workings of the universe, but there are many things we can. Some like to have this say-so. Some are control-freaks and seek to micro-manage things and others. This control can be strategic in the sense of there being some strategy or other which may or may not require the use of manipulation. We have heard recently of people, unwilling to provide sexual favours, being black-listed in Hollywood.

There is an inherent problem with “control”. In that the tighter you squeeze and enforce control, the more likely is it to go wrong. That which one controls might be thought of as the system, squeeze the system too tightly and the system leaks. That which is outside the system is no longer susceptible to the control parameters. You may control the system but not that which has leaked out. One has the say-so over the system. If you are a fisherman, you have a net and in that net, you have fish, some fish escape the net. If they are people, they are what Dōgen Zenji calls tōdatsu. Once the fish has slipped the net, there is no control over it.

I personally am unsure as to why some are so obsessed with having the say-so over the lives of others. It is not something which appeals to me, yet I can see this at work. Maybe they like moving pawns around on the chessboard of life? Who can say? There are a few who simply cannot resist trying to interfere in the lives of others. Perhaps this allows them, by being busy, to not examine their own lives. This meddling in the affairs of others is a pass-time, irresistible to some. For some reason they imagine that they know what the lives of others need, often without asking, perhaps God tells them.

Once something has been squeezed out of the system it is of no concern to the system, unless the system needs it back, for whatever reason. A fish will not be overly keen on jumping back into the net. When one is outside a system, one no longer has sight of what goes on in the system nor of where its control parameters are at. The system does its thing and the fish simply swims. What goes on in the system is of little concern to the fish, that is system business and not fish business. However, the system may still wish to exert control over the fish. Even though it has been squeezed out of the net. The system does not want to let go of the fish, it still seeks to control it.

People like to have the say-so in order to express their will and if necessary (as it appears to them) inflict it upon others. They want the system to do their bidding. They might have control parameters like access to movie roles, salary and publicity. The power of these parameters might be high, as levers they can be effective, they may not however be universal. This my will be done, is not uncommon amongst control-junkies and control-freaks. In this respect manipulation can have unforeseen consequences, which includes a loss of fish. You may have plenty of fish, but not the fish you want but as they say, there are plenty of fish in the sea. Control can and does lead to relationship breakdown, it gets hard to breathe in a net, as the control is tightened. Many a control-freak has driven a partner or potential partner away.

This will thing is weird…it is about control and say-so…it is not about freedom. Why are people so very scared that they feel they have to try to control everything?


Minimizing New Karma

If one seeks to be free and has some level of belief in Causal Ordering or Karma, then it stands to reason that it is wise to try not to generate any new karma or at least to minimize what new karma we do generate. This means we need to consider our actions and the implications, thereof. If we don’t give a shit we can carry on just as we please. This approach risks what I have termed Karmic Ghosts. It is a kind of brinksmanship with fate. We can bluff and wait for the universe to call our bluff. But cause and effect are real, even if we cannot see the fine detail of Causal Ordering. A cause, sooner or later, effects. Just how it effects can vary.

The best way to minimise new karma is to listen to our Soul, our inner voice. For it is the Soul which knows and not our complicated and often self-important personalities. Each time we fail to listen to our Soul, our heart, we tend to generate new karma. Don’t imagine for a minute that the Soul is easy going, it is anything but. It is trying to get us on track, to learn and to evolve as a being. And so often “we” resist our own Souls. Somewhere, perhaps buried deep under the rubble and destruction of our lives, there is a conscience. It may be near mortally wounded. Unless we start to listen so that “we” and our Soul are on the same page, we will never feel whole or at one.

Though we may not like to acknowledge it our Soul knows what it needs to be doing. Yet so often we stymie it, and this causes “us” suffering. In one sense failing to listen to our conscience is causal of our suffering. Seems to me that many are more than a tad masochistic. Oh that WILL, how it likes to fight against the guidance of our Soul!!

Trying to stop generating new karma is an important part of the road to liberation.

If you start to listen to your heart the guidance on how, is readily available to you.