Detachment Day 3: Dealing with Institutionalized Backbiting
What is institutionalized backbiting? Institutionalized backbiting is the process of allowing criticisms and other negative comments to be regarded as truth without any investigation by those who have decision making authority so that they can maintain their recognition and power over those beneath them. It is aimed at those who are attempting to help an organization grow in new ways and are experimenting with new forms.
When a person gets into a situation where they have relatively unchecked authority over others, that is, where employees have no recourse to justice because it doesn’t exist, many leaders lapse into an addictive process of allowing criticism in that has no basis and then using their power to deal with it. If the leader is criticized personally or someone else criticizes other employees, then the leader, because they have unchecked power, takes the easy way out of the situation by using their power to eliminate others. It seems to me that despite the discomfort and annoyance that they may feel over the criticisms being said, the use of power is like a drug. Since there is no recourse for those on the other side of the power, they can use it without fear of consequences.
I have gradually come to be able get a little detachment over this kind of leadership by realizing that when I am being victimized by this type of leadership, that a new door is being prepared for me to walk through, a new chapter in my life is opening. Seeing the new door and then going for it is not an easy thing for me because what I get stuck in is the injustice of the power addicted leadership style and that is because I am attached to what I am doing at the present. As soon as I am able to see that a new door is opening and start rushing to the door, then the pain eases and I get really excited again.
Well, I have to say though that learning this kind of detachment is by far the most difficult test of my life because with institutionalized backbiting anyone can say anything and then it can be used against you. Others advance and you get ousted. It happens. The key for me in dealing with this is to look with hopefulness and enthusiasm toward the new future to not be attached to the present working circumstances. It is like God is preparing me for something new by working on creating the new forms that are exactly in the opposite direction of the worst kind of malicious backbiting.
Institutionalized backbiting is fueled by the negative emotion of jealousy. When you are on the victim end of jealous, you know that you are really doing great work. This is the really cool thing about it. The person who holds authoritative power uses it because inside they know that in comparison to your abilities, they are really wanting, but they so want to hold their position that they do whatever it takes to keep it. Then the use of power becomes like a big drug. They always go down in the long run because you can only keep the drug use going for so long. Power used to eliminate others is very addictive.
So if the goal of the jealousy is elimination, this means that the door that is opening in my life is one of inclusion. Including others in a positive process is where a positive life will always go. The key is to just let go of the pain of institutionalized backbiting, to lose the attachment to one’s present circumstances, and then rush to the new place. I wish it were as easy as that. Maybe it is.