Of all the leadership strategies that the Theory of Constraints offers, the guiding principle of Inherent Dignity stands tall. But what exactly is inherent dignity, and how does it fit into the modern workplace?
Understanding Inherent Dignity
In The Choice, by Eliyahu Goldratt and his daughter Efrat Goldratt-Ashlag, Efrat notes:
“The third obstacle we need to overcome is our tendency to blame. Regardless of our personal view on human nature, I am now convinced that if we start with blaming the other person, we are aiming in the wrong direction. If we are determined to solve a problem that involves another party, no matter in what area, we should fight the tendency to blame, assume that the other side is good, and look for a win-win solution. Here too, if we do it once and it works, it will be easier to avoid blaming the next time around.”
To overcome this obstacle of blame, we must recognise the principle of Inherent Dignity.
Inherent dignity revolves around the idea that every individual, regardless of their role, background, or circumstance, possesses an intrinsic worth. It isn’t something earned or awarded but a universal truth we must recognize and uphold.
Why is Inherent Dignity Important in the Workplace?
- Trust Building: When employees feel their inherent worth is recognized, trust flourishes. It serves as a cornerstone for healthy team dynamics and transparent communication.
- Fosters Diversity and Inclusion: Recognizing inherent dignity is about respecting individuality. In the process, it promotes diverse perspectives and ensures everyone feels they belong.
- Boosts Employee Engagement: Employees are more likely to be invested in their roles when they feel valued beyond their job descriptions.
Inherent Dignity in Leadership:
For modern leaders, inherent dignity must be a guiding principle. It’s not about merely offering a seat at the table but genuinely valuing the insights and experiences that each member brings.
- Coaching with Dignity: Leaders should adopt a coaching mindset that champions individual strengths and addresses areas of growth with respect and encouragement.
- Decision Making: Decisions should be made not just on commercial viability but also considering the human factor and the impact they have on individual dignity.
- Conflict Resolution: With inherent dignity as a foundation, conflicts can be addressed constructively, ensuring all voices are heard, and resolutions are equitable.
The Link to High-Performing Teams:
Teams rooted in the principle of inherent dignity are more innovative, resilient, and engaged. They communicate openly, challenge constructively, and work towards a shared goal with mutual respect.
A Call to Action:
For modern businesses to thrive, understanding and implementing the principle of inherent dignity is crucial. As you navigate the challenges of the modern workplace, remember to prioritize people, recognizing the unique value and perspectives they bring.
In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” It’s time we fully embraced this in our workplaces.
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