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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, insightful, and relevant book!
Just finished this wonderful book! As an elementary school administrator, I feel this book could also be describing an essential leadership model and guideline for social living in general. The need to acknowledge the crucial role dignity plays in all aspects of our lives and interactions transends all subcategories. The dignity model should not only be viewed as a...
Published on August 16, 2011 by Debi C.

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25 of 83 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hate America Attitude is Repulsive
Reading the book with an open mind, I was assaulted by the dishonesty and cheap shots the book takes at this country, the author apparently imbued and fully brainwashed by the hate-America culture of many at Harvard. I should know, I went there and have lived blocks away from the Yard all of my life.

(For the record, I love Harvard and the beauty of knowledge...
Published on November 20, 2011 by Elizabeth Dudley


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, insightful, and relevant book!, August 16, 2011
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Just finished this wonderful book! As an elementary school administrator, I feel this book could also be describing an essential leadership model and guideline for social living in general. The need to acknowledge the crucial role dignity plays in all aspects of our lives and interactions transends all subcategories. The dignity model should not only be viewed as a model for resolving conflicts. In my job I see it as an approach to being a more effective instructional leader. I can see my teachers using it as an approach to creating more effective relationships with their students as well as the parents of their students. Regardless of your profession, experiences, or goals, the dignity model can guide you in your efforts to make the very most of your relationships with others. I'm very excited about this work and its potential impact on so many!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing teacher, inspiring and helpful, December 5, 2011
I read this book with great interest and have been on a steep learning curve to gather its information throughly into my outlook. Donna Hicks is a great teacher. When the connection is made with her, a wonderful sense of well being accompanies the learning process as the reader takes in the elements of her dignity model. When she writes about dignity, Donna Hicks puts her heart and soul into it, and we are are treated with great dignity as she develops the thought and the language of dignity. In her exploration, she discusses the relationship between evolutionary forces and conflict. She researches and teaches the role dignity plays in healing and reconciling. She writes about what is really going on in a conflict, and in clear explanation she shows us that if indignity can tear us apart, then dignity can put us back together again. She encourages us to make the practice of dignity a way of life, and she provides a useful guide to anyone wishing to improve the quality of his or her life and relationships.

In his introduction of her book, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu provides a key to enable us to know the extent of her work, moving from creating peace in our lives with the practice of dignity to creating peace on earth through dignity. He has experienced her insights and abilities as they, together in Ireland, facilitated meetings of warring parties. The dignity model in use allowed a poignant moment, a miracle, as the parties resolved to reconcile with dignity. She holds his highest praise. It is comforting to know that Donna works in unofficial (stated) diplomatic approaches in conflict resolution among our world leaders.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential, October 4, 2011
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I've spent time with Donna Hicks, with the hope of learning the art of dignity from her. She is a master teacher whose book delves into the very deep ends of the soul. The information found in her book is mission critical for a world that consistently tries to blow itself apart! But let the reader beware, this is difficult stuff! Her work will challenge you and if you are willing, change you.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book Every Leader Should Read, December 10, 2011
A little personal history:

In 1988 I took on the challenge of reinvigorating an historic university-owned hotel in the grip of a downward economic spiral. The deteriorating physical condition of the property was an issue which could be fixed with time, attention, and money. The larger problem was the need to improve the efforts of a demoralized staff.

Among my initiatives to address the hotel's issues, I drafted a one page statement of standards - The Principles of Employee Relations - to guide the management staff in their treatment of employees. The first principle I wrote was, "All employees will be treated with dignity and respect." Though the word "dignity" came easily to mind, I had no true idea of its import and its critical role in human relations - that is, until now.

Donna Hicks and a deeper understanding:

Donna Hicks has given us a beautifully written and profoundly important book. Her nearly two decades of work in international conflict resolution as an Associate at Harvard University's Weatherford Center for International Affairs has provided her with a unique perspective on the dynamics of conflict.

Dr. Hicks has worked with such luminaries as Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu and Harvard Professor Herbert Kelman on some of the world's most intractable conflicts, the Palestinian Question, the Troubles of Northern Ireland, and the civil war in Sri Lanka. Based on her extensive research, she has formulated a unique and keenly insightful New Model of Dignity which allows us to explore the essential role of personal dignity in human relations. Her premise is that when a person's dignity is violated, as it so often is in various personal and public settings, deep-seated resentments then lead to conflicts seemingly beyond resolution.

According to the author, "When we are treated badly, we get angry, feel humiliated, and want to get even - often without being aware of the extent to which these primal reactions are driving our behavior." Despite the impressive intellectual achievements of our species, our psyches are quite fragile and easily damaged by both real and perceived slights.

But, as Dr. Hicks says, "We do not deliberately hurt each other just for the fun of it. We are often unaware of the ways we routinely and subtly violate each other's dignity." To overcome this universal behavioral failing we must do three things:
1. Become aware of the problem,
2. Learn that there are ways to handle the problem, and
3. Make the changes necessary to honor individual human dignity.

"If we continue to ignore the truth and consequences of [dignity] violations," says Hicks, "we will remain in an arrested state of emotional development." This simple, yet far-reaching truth can cripple the progress of relationships at every level of human affairs.

The book's structure:

In the book's introduction, the author explains The New Model of Dignity and the theoretical research supporting her conclusions.

She then lays out the Ten Essential Elements of Dignity and in successive chapters discusses each element with examples from her conflict-resolution experience.

To further illuminate the dignity model, Dr. Hicks also posits the Ten Temptations to Violate Dignity, and provides anecdotal support, powerfully moving in emotional content, to reveal how people come to grips with assaults on their dignity and how they struggle to find resolution.

The final section of the book entitled, How to Heal Relationships with Dignity, is a potent testament to the healing power of identifying dignity violations, acknowledging vulnerability, and making a genuine commitment to honor the dignity of others.

Why is this important to business leaders?

Beyond the moral issues of honoring each person's dignity - their basic human worth - there are important practical implications for the recognition of dignity in the business arena.

No business can operate efficiently or provide high levels of service to its customers without the willing commitment of its employees. But the leadership challenges of achieving this commitment are significant. As Roger Enrico, former Chairman and CEO of Pepsico said, "The soft stuff is always harder than the hard stuff."

So what are we talking about when we speak of the soft stuff? In short, it's the "people skills" - those aptitudes, abilities, and relationship skills employed to assure the significance of each employee's contribution. It is the exercise of leadership involving the highly nuanced interactions within a diverse workforce that results in motivation, high levels of morale, enthusiasm, focus, commitment, organizational cohesiveness, and group success.

Given the essential role that a person's dignity and sense of self-worth plays in an employee's contribution to any enterprise, leaders must become aware of the Ten Essential Elements of Dignity and the Ten Temptations to Violate Dignity. Finally, leaders at all levels of an organization must work to change their subtle and unintentional affronts to the dignity of others.

Bottom line - Because people matter, it pays to treat them well by honoring their inherent dignity, but leaders have to know how!

Conclusion:

This is an important book with broad implications beyond conflict resolution. It should be read and studied by any leader who cares about followers and who wants to elicit his or her employees' highest level of commitment and contribution.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My experience with dignity, April 6, 2013
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This review is from: Dignity: Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflict (Paperback)
In 1986 while I was working as a lab technician I met my future husband; an only child. He was from Canada where his parents lived and worked as forestry researchers. They were originally from India but had lived in Australia and Ghana until my husband was 15. While we were dating he was doing research in cardiology. I, on the other hand; had lived on a farm until 16 with my 7 siblings and 11 cousins. I began working as a lab technician at 18 for a number of years while also getting a degree in physical education. When we married it was with the full support of our parents and all my siblings. Many of the qualities the book addresses were at work here given our age, religion, educational differences and personal cultural backgrounds. I am hugely impressed by this book because it gets at the heart of so many of the psychological blind spots and fears societies hang on to that can no longer be ignored. The book is clearly written with great real life examples. I have placed the 10 elements that define dignity or violate it on my refrigerator. I think it would be well served in all educational settings from 1st grade and beyond. It can serve as a great moral compass.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An educational model, December 4, 2011
If preservice and current educators, along with school system administrators were to read this powerful and important book, supporting students and families who have been profoundly impacted as a result of dignity violations might be possible. Providing this critical information to families in an effort to understand the root cause of their personal challenges would create an empowering and healing partnership between the schoolhouse and home. As an administrator in the public school system, I plan to offer Dr. Hicks' dignity model to my school community with the hope of educating, supporting, and healing the wounds suffered through violations of dignity.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A voice of clarity and reason, April 20, 2013
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This review is from: Dignity: Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflict (Paperback)
This is an important book for all humanity. Dr. Hicks gives me hope that we can all learn to live together with dignity. Her dignity model applies to every relationship on the planet. She writes clearly and beautifully. I've already given her book as a gift to a friend. I recommend it most highly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!, March 30, 2013
This review is from: Dignity: Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflict (Paperback)
Donna Hicks' book, Dignity: The Essential Role It Plays in Resolving Conflict, takes an in-depth look at the powerful and pervasive role that dignity plays in human interactions. Beginning with an analysis of the evolutionary and psychological nature of dignity, Hicks explains that dignity violations are a fundamental source of conflict and distrust between people. The book then goes on to outline a pragmatic method for how to recognize, and avoid, dignity violations and improve the relationships we have in our daily lives. This is an insightful and well-written book. A must-read for all.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dignity, December 5, 2011
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I am a Therapist, and a Curriculum Director for a program that works with adolescents, from throughout the world, who have lost a family member to an act of terrorism.
I have found this book to be invaluable in my work in both capacities.

In my clinical role, I have encountered numerous clients, both individuals and couples, who have struggled with conflict, both personal and professional. The Dignity Model provides a way to look at conflict and name the issues/and origins, as well as options for taking action to move through the dignity violations inherent in the conflict.
Rather than investing energy in "conflict" this book has offered insightful and effective ways to invest in dignity, which is both healing and empowering.

In working with young people who's lives have been derailed by the experience of terrorism, the DIgnity Model provides an access to relay their personal experience of the ultimate dignity violation that is terrorism, and to achieve the capacity for empathy. Recognizing that we all possess dignity, allows for one to feel all of the righteous indignation of what has been perpetrated upon them, while also seeing the larger picture of how the "other" has been likewise victimized by a system of indignity.

This book has provided the most hopeful and accessible way to navigate conflict from the most personal, day to day, to the large scale political, and to see the relationship between both.
M. Meehan McNamara
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful personal and intergroup advice, December 4, 2011
Fantastic. This book forces us to look at life through the important lens of dignity, and find lessons on how to get along better -- from relationships between people to relationships between groups. The examples Hicks uses make us think about how to treat others with dignity, and help us to have a realistic vision of how much better the world would be if we saw dignity at the center of our interactions. I have worked with families and with international groups at war, and their reasons for violent conflict are complex. But, it frequently helps to have groundrules and a conceptual framework for helping others find more constructive ways to disagree -- how to make sure each party has the opportunity to express his own legitimate needs and understand those of the other. The Dignity model helps with both groundrules and a conceptual framework for resolving conflict.

It would be interesting to apply these ideas to models of leadership, as leadership has such a powerful influence on changes in culture. I also agree with another reviewer on the potential benefits of applying this model to education. I look forward to Hicks further work in this area.
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Dignity: Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflict
Dignity: Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflict by Donna Hicks (Paperback - January 29, 2013)
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