Workshopping workplace dignity

nwi.dignityworkshop.2016

Yesterday and today, I had the deep privilege of facilitating a small group workshop on dignity at work, hosted at Suffolk University Law School.

Although I often feature and highlight speakers and participants from programs I host, because of the personal nature of some of our discussions, I will refrain from doing so here. Suffice it to say, however, that the ten participants — drawn largely from the Boston area — made for an extraordinary group, individually and collectively. Here are among the topics we discussed:

  • Framing dignity in relation to the experience of work;
  • Examining workplace dignity in the context of a specific employment sector, in this case, health care;
  • Discussing how participants are addressing workplace dignity issues in their own lives, while getting feedback from the group; and,
  • Looking at future advocacy efforts for workplace anti-bullying legislation.

When it came to describing their own workplace dignity activities, many of the participants offered stories of their own life experiences. It was a testament to the supportive atmosphere of the workshop that people felt sufficiently confident and safe to share their stories in this manner.

For me personally, here are among the lessons learned and reinforced by this workshop experience:

  • There is power in creating intentional communities of good people devoted to positive social and individual change.
  • With the right mix of people, gatherings such as this one can be both healing on an individual level and constructive on a social change level.
  • When you bring together folks from different backgrounds, professions, and areas of expertise, the exchange of experiences, ideas, and information can generate new insights and understandings.

The workshop was a trial balloon of sorts, with a loose structure that relied on the participants to provide the content — without a PowerPoint slide in sight! I realize that not every such program will be so rewarding, but I saw and heard more than enough to be able to proclaim the event a success, with designs on working with others to expand this circle.

3 responses

  1. I hope there will be future opportunities for others to participate. You have great information. We long to be heard, interact and have much to contribute. We are stiffled in our workplace as you well know.

  2. Thank you, knowledge and education are the keys to elimination. Unfortunately constructive discharge needs to be forbidden, it supports workplace bullying and mobbing, they run hand in hand. It is also over used but the most effective tool in eliminating good employees from the workplace by employment lawyers at least in one I know of representing many non profits, in fact it is his MO. I do thank you, change begins with education, no better place to run these events than Suffolk, thank you for doing this I know it cannot be easy for you either. Bonnie Curran

  3. I am beginning to be very concerned that this form of workplace healing is not actively being undertaken in South Africa. I am not sure how one starts awareness on this but I know the need is there.

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