Of Note: Dignity Consciousness

Submitted By:
Zaineb Hussain, Ed.M. Candidate, Klingenstein Center, Teachers College, New York, NY

Leading with Dignity: How to create a culture that brings out the best in people by Donna Hicks, PhD
Yale University Press, October 8, 2019

A global voice advocating for recognizing the power and impact of honoring dignity in ourselves and others, Dr. Donna Hicks has followed up her original text, Dignity: Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflicts. In Leading with Dignity, her new book, Hicks takes the dignity model and shares the essential interpersonal skills, relational skills, and competencies required to “pay closer attention to the effects we have on others.” Her text ties together core values of strong leadership—listening intently, receptiveness to feedback, empathizing, and apologizing effectively—to emphasize how these actions honor the dignity in others. Her focus on the importance of leaders understanding, acting with, and honoring dignity boils down to an essential point: leaders set the tone in an organization. Without what she describes as "dignity consciousness," even good people who are well intentioned can still cause harm to others. For leaders—whether new to their role or seasoned—this text has renewed relevance in a time of division when many in our communities may feel even more deeply the sting of repeated indignities. We are reminded that if we lead with dignity, and model the skills that show our value for each individual, we can have a ripple effect across organizations, uplifting adults and children alike.

Leadership Practice