Does your organization nurture growth-fostering relationships?

Last week’s annual workshop of the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (HumanDHS) Network in New York City featured the presentation of an award (posthumously) to Jean Baker Miller, M.D., a visionary psychiatrist, social activist, and co-founder of relational-cultural theory (RCT).

RCT (link here) holds that:

Growth-fostering relationships are a central human necessity. Chronic disconnection, whether on an interpersonal or societal scale, is a primary source of human suffering.

The Jean Baker Miller Training Institute at the Wellesley Centers for Women is devoted to transformational personal growth and social justice, building its programs around an RCT model.

Five Good Things

Dr. Miller boiled her core ideas down to a set of “Five Good Things” that empower people in growth-fostering relationships:

1. A sense of zest or well-being that comes from connecting with another person or other persons.

2. The ability and motivation to take action in the relationship as well as other situations.

3. Increased knowledge of oneself and the other person(s).

4. An increased sense of worth.

5. A desire for more connections beyond the particular one.

So here’s the question: Does your organization nurture these qualities? To further explore this subject, you might take a look at these posts:


For a short report on last week’s HumanDHS workshop:

Building a society that embraces human dignity

4 responses

  1. I think Jean knew Jane Dutton, Loraleigh! Isn’t it wonderful to have the work of David Yamada, Jane Dutton, and Jean Baker Miller to refer to when we need to advocate for workplace transformation!! Thank goodness for their courageous efforts!

  2. Great article!! David as you have heard me say so many times i was severely abused at work and targeted. One of the major things that led to the destruction of my career was the total lack of fostering, in fact my boss went 150% the other way and did every possible thing to undermine my intelligence and take away 39 years of hard work that was strongly based in reality and kept me connected to society in that way. This is clearly one of the most important things work provides for us. Money is not everything!!! One big reason i am still on disability is because her constant abuse and degrading of my reality based skills has taken me far away from being to connect with what i once was comfortable in the workplace with. It may take some time to recover. I cannot stress enough how damaging this is.

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