The Patient Relations staff recently had the privilege of attending a seminar by Dr. Donna Hick’s on the subject of her book ‘Dignity: Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflict’.
Her book is a must-read, not only for those dealing in conflict resolution, but for any human interaction.
Below is a small excerpt from her book in which she discusses the 10 essential elements of Dignity:
1. Acceptance of Identity – Approach people as neither inferior nor superior to you; give others the freedom to express their authentic selves without fear of being negatively judged; interact without prejudice or bias, accepting how race, religion, gender, class, sexual orientation, age, disability, etc. are at the core of their identities. Assume they have integrity.
2. Recognition – Validate others for their talents, hard work, thoughtfulness, and help; be generous with praise; give credit to others for their contributions, ideas and experience.
3. Acknowledgement – Give people your full attention by listening, hearing, validating and responding to their concerns and what they have been through.
4. Inclusion – Make others feel that they belong at all levels of relationship (family, community, organization, nation).
5. Safety – Put people at ease at two levels: physically, where they feel free of bodily harm; and psychologically, where they feel free of concern about being shamed or humiliated, that they feel free to speak without fear of retribution.
6. Fairness – Treat people justly, with equality, and in an evenhanded way, according to agreed upon laws and rules.
7. Independence – Empower people to act on their own behalf so that they feel in control of their lives and experience a sense of hope and possibility.
8. Understanding – Believe that what others think matters; give them the chance to explain their perspectives, express their points of view; actively listen in order to understand them.
9. Benefit of the Doubt – Treat people as trustworthy; start with the premise that others have good motives and are acting with integrity.
10. Accountability – Take responsibility for your actions; if you have violated the dignity of another, apologize; make a commitment to change hurtful behaviours.
You can find Dr. Donna Hicks book ‘Dignity: Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflict’ online: