Shining Light for Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (HumanDHS)

Dignity is a word that expresses the best of humanity. --Evelin Lindner Click To Tweet

Progressive and inspiring work is going on in the world and Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies  (HumanDHS) founded by Evelin Lindner, MD, Ph.D. is a great example!  In addition, Evelin is Co-founder with Linda Hartling, Ph.D., of the World Dignity University Initiative.  It is a lot to take in, I know.  Don’t hurry.  I suggest poking around their website and let them know what your interest is.  I received a most gracious response in contacting Evelin and feel a sense of hope in connecting around her vision, their mission:

To End the cycles of violence resulting from people humiliating or putting other people down. To protect our planet for future civilizations.  We all need to hold hands in equal dignity and lead each other towards a peaceful and sustainable and richly diverse global community. –Evelin Lindner

Love their Goal!

Nominated for the Nobel Prize Award in 2015 and 2016, Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies’ goal is ending humiliating practices, preventing new ones from arising, and fostering healing from cycles of humiliation throughout the world.


Doesn’t this sound like exciting work?  It feels (to me) as if we’re on this historical precipice.  How will the human species survive, I wonder?  As a species where domination informs relationships i.e. having power over others? Or will we be inclusive and form relationships by having power with others? Organizations like HumanDHS gives me hope for that latter!  There is a lot to explore on their website and some great conferences coming up in NY, USA, Indore, India, and Cairo, Egypt! I have bookmarked the HumanDHS website and hope you will enjoy discovering along with me! And do let me know what you think!

Here’s to a world rich with dignity!


Posted in Assertiveness, Communication in Healthcare, Complexity in nursing, Diversity, Healthy Workplaces, Listening, Medical Improv, Nurse Entreprenuers, Nurse Leadership, Patient Advocacy, Teambuilding | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Streep Attacks Trump’s Behavior. Trump Attacks Streep! See the difference?

There is an important difference between behaving abusively and providing constructive feedback on abusive behavior. Distinguishing between bullying behavior and bullies is an important step in eliminating horizontal and vertical violence in healthcare and anywhere else!

We must be vigilant in setting limits on poor behavior while showing compassion to offenders. Click To Tweet

When Donald Trump mocked a disabled reporter he used humiliating language, tone, and gestures. His behavior was disrespectful.  It is an example of classic bullying behavior and all the more so because of his position of power with his audience.

We must be vigilant in setting limits on poor behavior while educating offenders about respect. Click To Tweet

When Meryl Streep commented about it at the Golden Globes 1/8/2017,  she used ownership language and spoke to his behavior.  Please watch this video carefully and note that she is not calling Mr. Trump names or attacking him as a person.  She is owning how his actions impacted her i.e. referring to it as a  performance  “…[that] sunk a hook into my heart…”!  She speaks to his abuse of power, how disrespect invites disrespect, and how effective he was at getting others to laugh with him at the reporter.  Her voice crackles with heartfelt emotion and conviction. Speaking up against bullying is courageous bystander behavior and essential for stopping it.

When Donald Trump responded, he called her names (attacking her!) and ignored the feedback, more bullying behavior.

I advocate for a “No Innocent Bystanders” approach to addressing bullying in healthcare and in our society at large. And with that in mind, “Thank you, Meryl Streep for speaking up so respectfully and clearly against inappropriate behavior”!

If you’d like to develop your assertiveness check out this new workshop from the Portsmouth Improv Learn Lab:  PILL. The Art & Science of Speaking Up!


Posted in Assertiveness, Communication in Healthcare, Complexity in nursing, Diversity, Healthy Workplaces, Workplace Bullying | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A New Prescription for Healthcare Reform – Let’s Hope It Isn’t Taken

By Jim Murphy

A few years ago we commented on Harvard Business Review’s predilection for proposals for healthcare reform.  In reviewing a “grand prescription for the healthcare industry,” we predicted that in “five or ten years from now there will be another HBR article on this topic” with a different remedy. As it turns out, that prophecy came true even faster.

Amazingly, the new article with the latest proposed dosage has one of the co-authors of its predecessor: Thomas Lee, Chief Medical Officer at PressGaney, as well as TedMed speaker and author. Previously writing with leading business strategy expert Michael Porter, this time he has as partner another Harvard Business School professor, Leemore Danfy.

PressGaney, Harvard Business School, and Harvard Business Review are the number one institutions of their kind in the world. Therefore, it is saddening to say that what it is being sold here is again nonsense that will (fortunately) not be implemented but (unfortunately) will be influential – and no doubt bring the authors more business and perhaps future invitations to write for HBR.

The title and thesis of the article is “Healthcare Needs Real Competition.”  Interestingly, the “competition” mantra has been also cited by Donald Trump.

The problem, the authors (and most people writing on this topic also) say, is that “our healthcare system remains chaotic, unreliable, inefficient, and crushingly expensive.”

Let’s try a few more sentences like that:

“Our educational system remains chaotic, unreliable, inefficient, and crushingly expensive.’

“Our military system remains chaotic, unreliable, inefficient, and crushingly expensive.”

Or even, “Life remains chaotic, unreliable, inefficient, and crushingly expensive.”

So does it follow that “Our healthcare system, our educational system, our military, and life in general, need real competition”?  How about instead:  “Our healthcare system, our educational system, our military, and life in general need real cooperation”?

Imagine all the actors in the healthcare system competing harder. Then imagine them cooperating more. Which seems more likely to improve things?

Well, maybe neither.  The healthcare system is extremely complex.  It is shallow thinking to believe that any one answer – competition, cooperation, concentration, or compassion – is a solution to all its problems.

And what actually is the problem? Isn’t it really that people are not getting quality healthcare and some are still not getting healthcare at all? Isn’t the cause that we have a money-driven system and more focus on money will only make it worse?

The authors end by saying that if their remedy is not is accepted, the result will be “chaotic, costly care of uneven quality, with a growing toll on individuals and the economy.”  Which of course is what they say we have now and, it seems safe to predict, will also be what we have the next time HBR tells us what must be done to reform healthcare.

Jim Murphy has a solo consulting practice called Management 3000, focusing on organizational development and change management. Being semi-retired, Jim is willing to provide very reasonably priced consulting, coaching or project work for organizations aspiring to improvement in organizational culture, effectiveness and employee engagement.

Formerly he led the Massachusetts Bay Organizational Development Learning Group, was Human Resources Director for the City of Boston Assessing Department, and served as a consultant with the Boston Management Consortium.  His consulting practice includes management coaching as well as research and writing on employee relationships, leadership, healthcare and collaborative practices.  Having produced newsletters for several organizations  and being a frequent content writer for the”Confident Voices in Healthcare” blog, he is interested in writing and research opportunities, as well as consulting and coaching.  He is a Senior Research Analyst at MetaView Consulting and Coaching, or email

Posted in Communication in Healthcare, Complexity in nursing, Democracy NOW, Diversity, Healthy Workplaces, Patient Advocacy | 1 Comment