Associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Award-Winning Author & Internationally Renowned Authority on Dignity
Harvard’s Donna Hicks is the pioneering mind behind the Dignity Model, a signature approach that she has applied to the most divisive and deep-seated conflicts around the world. Her award-winning book Dignity: Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflict, broke new ground and established dignity as a universal, powerful and motivating force behind all human interaction. Now with her landmark book, Leading with Dignity: How to Create a Culture That Brings Out the Best in People, Dr. Hicks is empowering leaders in business, health care, government and other fields to create cultures of dignity as the key to fostering innovation, productive relationships and successful outcomes. A dynamic and thought-provoking speaker, Dr. Hicks draws upon her extensive background in international conflict resolution and experience utilizing the Dignity Model to transform work cultures in a range of businesses and organizations. Her presentations provide a thorough understanding of the role of dignity in human relationships. She also provides a playbook for creating a culture in which everyone—employees, customers, patients, clients, and others—thrives. Read More >
The Meaning of Dignity
Building Trust Through Meaningful Work
Often confused with the concept of “respect,” dignity goes much deeper and reflects our inherent value and worth. Everyone—employees, customers, patients, clients and others—want to be treated in a way that shows they matter. Without a working knowledge of dignity and its critical role in the well-being and health of a workplace culture, leaders unknowingly fail to honor it. The resulting emotional pain, conflict and distrust can ultimately create a toxic work environment. Read More >
Drawing from her landmark book and ten years of original research and real-life case studies, internationally-renowned dignity expert Donna Hicks takes a new look at leadership through the lens of honoring dignity. She shares workable recommendations on how any organization— corporate, healthcare, human services and beyond—can create a culture that brings out the best in people. Dr. Hicks covers: Read Less ^
One of the greatest challenges in any organization is attracting the best employees—then, keeping them engaged and invested in your organization and its mission. Research shows that people who feel valued are more likely to go above and beyond and exhibit higher levels of loyalty. Creating a culture of dignity can improve recruitment and retention, make employees more open to learning and development, create an atmosphere of psychological safety and transform toxic environments. In healthcare, there’s even more to gain. Staff who feel honored and valued will, in turn, honor and value the dignity of patients, patients’ families and the members of the communities they serve. In this presentation for healthcare leaders and professionals, internationally-renowned dignity authority Donna Hicks dives into the research and neuroscience behind her Dignity Model. She also provides actionable recommendations for creating cultures that truly bring out the best in people—deepening relationships, improving communication and ultimately, impacting patient outcomes.
The tone of discussion in our country is more polarized than ever before. How can we overcome barriers to foster productive dialog? A veteran of conflict resolutions involving Israelis & Palestinians, Turks and Armenians, and Catholics and Protestants reconciling after “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland, Harvard’s Dr. Donna Hicks has found the key. Her internationally-acclaimed Dignity Model creates a new paradigm for constructive conversation—one that recognizes that every human being has the same basic need to be valued, appreciated, and have their own self-worth validated. In this game-changing presentation, Dr. Hicks shares the essential elements of dignity, how to honor it in others and maintain your own—even in contentious situations. By understanding the Dignity Model you will not only be able to influence more civil and productive conversations—you will learn essential skills for improving and enhancing relationships everywhere in your life.
"Wow, she was awesome! It was a great day and her Dignity Model fit right in with our Day of Human Understanding. She was friendly, made everyone she met feel at ease and had some great conversations with our faculty and staff. Donna was also wonderful with the students at the Meet & Greet. She had great interactions with them and was super engaging."
"Donna’s personal and professional focus on the topic of dignity resonated with the audience, and her stories and lessons were directly targeted to Landmark’s unique population. In a poignant and simple message, Donna spoke to the core issues facing students with learning disabilities, which are their rights and needs to be seen, taught, and respected for who they are as they battle to believe in their own self-worth.
Donna’s message is both universal and personal, and creates thought and change immediately. Her relaxed presence places everyone at ease, her sincerity fosters credibility, and her passion evokes emotions."