Treat People with Dignity

 

In her latest book, Leading with Dignity, author Donna Hicks shared ten elements of dignity that caught my attention. With permission, I would like to share the ten elements which she derived from her research and interviews.

Her book is well-worth the read for anyone interested in leadership. Here are the ten elements from the book answering the question:

What does it look like to treat people with dignity?

 

Excerpted from Leading with Dignity: How to Create A Culture That Brings Out the Best in People, by Donna Hicks. Copyright © 2018 by Donna Hicks. Excerpted by permission of Yale University Press. All rights reserved.

 

Acceptance of Identity.

Approach people as being 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 that characteristics such as race, religion, gender, class, sexual orientation, age, and disability are at the core of their identities.

 

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.

 

“Praise, like sunlight, helps all things to grow.” -Croft Pentz

 

Acknowledgment.

Give people your full attention by listening, hearing, validating, and responding to their concerns and what they have been through.

Inclusion.

Make others feel that they belong, at all levels of relationship (family, community, organization, and nation).

Safety.

Put people at ease at two levels: physically, so they feel free from the possibility of bodily harm, and psychologically, so they feel free from concern about being shamed or humiliated and free to speak up without retribution.

 

Fairness.

Treat people justly, with equality, and in an even-handed way, according to agreed-on laws and rules.

 

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.

 

Understanding.

Believe that what others think matters; give them the chance to explain their perspectives and express their points of view; actively listen in order to understand them.

 

Benefit of the Doubt.

Treat people as if they are trustworthy; start with the premise that others have good motives and are acting with integrity.

 

“Trust is the lubrication that makes it possible for organizations to work.” -Warren Bennis

 

Accountability.

Take responsibility for your actions; apologize if you have violated another person’s dignity; make a commitment to change hurtful behaviors.

 

“Accountability breeds response-ability.” -Stephen Covey

 

For more information, see Leading with Dignity.

 

 

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