Following the steps
If you want to understand how something works, start at the last step, rather than the first. A good plan should allow someone to deconstruct it backwards to the point that they naturally find their way into the lesser steps in a typical and sequential order.
In other words, if steps 1-9 aren’t crafted properly, or out of one’s best intention and effort, it will show as you try to figure out how you got to step number 10 in the first place. It won’t be clear, it won’t be logical and their real intent will appear as bright as day as you reverse engineer. “If this step wasn’t a natural response for me, is it a natural response for anyone?” you may find yourself asking. Acquiring the answer means you have high levels of empathy because you literally have to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and feel every pain they feel to determine which course of action similar wounds force people to engage in.
If the answer is definitively no, no one with positive intentions would behave this way, then you may be onto a trail of mal intent.
Anyone who requires you to follow the steps one by one may be purposefully exerting some kind of unfair power over you, keeping you blind to the main plan. They may believe that if you were to know the full details of the plan, you may fight them or argue about who is in charge and what the course forwards is. You would question their plan.
This is an ego manifestation at the highest level. If you knew where it was heading, you would try to stop it. The step-by-step plan makes it impossible to predict because humans have a subconscious shame response for predicting something and it coming out incorrectly.