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Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflict

View the list. Or put another way: What does it look like to honor dignity? All ten are key, but she highlighted three in particular that can make a big difference. Next, Dr. But the situation is far from hopeless. Hicks shared a few examples. This is all easier said than done, of course. The goal is to give ourselves enough time to get the neocortex, the more recently evolved, less reactive region of the brain involved.

Getting ahold of dignity

The practice of meditation is one good way to foster this ability and to become less reactive in general, said Hicks. What was needed, said Archbishop Tutu, was joy and positivity. Hicks concluded her prepared remarks with a lesson she learned from her friend and colleague Archbishop Desmond Tutu about the best way to pursue the often-difficult work of resolving conflict and restoring dignity. She and the archbishop were working together on a BBC television project that facilitated dialogue between victims and perpetrators from the long, violent struggle between the Irish Republican Army and the British.

The days featured long hours of taping and tense conversations. At the end of the first day, the producers wanted to meet again later for some debriefing. What was needed, he said, was joy and positivity — preferably in the form of dancing, cocktails, and laughter.

Dignity: The Essential Role It Plays in Resolving Conflict in Our Liv…

And so it went for the duration of the filming of what turned out to be a stellar production called Facing the Truth, which aired in Among the topics discussed, too many to cover here, a few central themes emerged. One had to do with the sensitivity of dealing with and possibly re-opening dignity wounds that are either traumatic or multi-generational in nature. In terms of the former, Dr.

Hicks emphasized again the importance of creating safe environments where individuals feel free to tell their stories without fear of consequence or judgment. She shared that the work of Judith Herman on trauma and recovery is a valuable resource. Often a process of mourning is involved as well, said Hicks.

Other comments dealt with the challenge of developing leaders who are both sensitive to and active in the cause of dignity. On the other hand, the situation with current leaders is mixed. Many business and organizational models are still rigidly hierarchical, Hicks observed, but change is definitely happening. For example, Dr. Hicks has worked with a leadership team at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge in which representatives ranging from surgery to facilities maintenance are given an equal voice.


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Near the end of the afternoon, a student asked about the role of forgiveness in the restoration of dignity. Referring again to Facing the Truth, Hicks recalled how two men participating in the project reconciled not through forgiveness but through the recognition of shared humanity.

Leading with Dignity

The men in question were an IRA volunteer named Ronnie and the British police officer he nearly killed many years earlier. After both men had time to tell their stories, the officer was asked how he felt about what happened. To conclude, Dr. Visit her site declaredignity.

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Dignity, said Dr. Hicks, is not about conflict so much as it is about being human.

Ten temptations to sacrifice dignity. Interview with Donna Hicks on the power of dignity. This important book is the first to explore the common human desire for dignity and the consequences when dignity is either violated or honored, offering guidelines to help individuals and communities understand the power of dignity and how it can lead to a more peaceful world. Without an understanding of dignity, there is no hope for such change.

Leadership Formation & Development Within Systems and Organizations

If you want to find the weak links in a democracy, look for where people are suffering. You will most likely see a variety of violations.

If you want peace, be sure everyone's dignity is intact. What is the motivating force behind all human interaction — in families, in communities, in the business world, and in relationships from the personal level to the international level? It is the desire to be treated well. It is an unspoken human yearning that is at the heart of all conflicts, yet no one is paying attention to it.