How to Resolve Conflict in 2020 with Your Dignity Intact


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By Heather Walker, Ph.D. and Heather Walker. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
Join me as I interview Dr. Donna Hicks, a TEDxStormant speaker, author, researcher, and international expert on dignity and conflict resolution. We cover the 10 elements of dignity, how Dr. Hicks got interested in dignity research and how she applied it to international negotiations and conflict resolution. We also discuss the difference between dignity and respect, the most common violations of dignity in the workplace, and how to address dignity violations and confront a violator.

About Donna Hicks, Ph.D.
Dr. Donna Hicks has a long resume and history of working to help people understand the concept of dignity. Here’s a list of highlights:

  • Dr. Hicks is the Deputy Director of the Program on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution (PICAR) at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.
  • Israeli/Palestinian conflict - unofficial diplomatic efforts
  • Founded and co-directed a ten-year project in Sri Lanka
  • Conflicts in Northern Ireland and Colombia and conducted several US/Cuba dialogues
  • She is the Vice President of Ara Pacis, an Italian non-governmental organization based in Rome. They are currently involved in a dignity restoration project in Syria and Libya.
  • Dr. Hicks was a consultant to the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) where she co-facilitated encounters between victims and perpetrators of the Northern Irish conflict with Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The encounters were made into 3 television programs, Facing the Truth, which were aired throughout the United Kingdom and on BBC World.
  • Taught courses in conflict resolution at Harvard, Clark, and Columbia Universities
  • Conducts trainings and educational seminars in the US and abroad on the role dignity plays in healing and reconciling relationships in conflict as well as dignity leadership training.
  • Clients include the World Bank, the United Nations, the US Navy, and governments worldwide
  • Donna Hicks spoke at TEDxStormont

In this episode we discuss:
  • The 10 elements of dignity
  • How Dr. Hicks got interested in dignity research and how she applied it to international negotiations and conflict resolution
  • The difference between dignity and respect
  • The most common violations of dignity in the workplace
  • Tips on how to address dignity violations and confront a violator
  • How do we build a culture that supports this?

  • “I made a promise to Archbishop Tutu that I would never ever again say that people can have their dignity stripped.”
  • "If we don’t lovingly embrace our own dignity it’s harder to do it with others….we’re not only valuable and worthy, but we are invaluable. We’re priceless, and we’re irreplaceable."

[18:40] 10 Elements of Dignity:
  1. Being able to maintain one’s identity and have others accept it
  2. Recognition and praise for doing something praiseworthy
  3. Acknowledgement that something terrible happened
  4. Inclusion and sense of belonging
  5. Safety--physical and psychological
  6. Fairness
  7. Autonomy and independence
  8. Understanding
  9. Benefit of the doubt
  10. An apology if something bad happens

"The brain doesn’t know the difference between a violation to your dignity and a physical wound.”

[20:23] A conversation Dr. Hicks had with Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu
What is the single most important ingredient for people who want to put the past to rest and move forward with their lives?

[22:40] Out of the 10 elements of dignity, which element is violated most often in the workplace? Psychological Safety

[28:11] Dr. Hicks explains that most people don’t understand dignity and she defines it as our inherent value and our inherent vulnerability. The difference between dignity and respect--respect has to be earned. Dignity does not. Respect can be taken away. Dignity can be wounded.

[35:25] What does it mean to treat someone with dignity? “Treating people with dignity doesn’t just mean being nice or kind.”

[41:55] How to address your own anger before you confront someone

Connect with Dr. Hicks and Resources

About this Episode
  • Episode: 14
  • Title: How to Resolve Conflict in 2020 with Your Dignity Intact
  • Release Date: January 6, 2020
  • Guest: Donna Hicks, Ph.D.

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