Respectful treatment

ISBN 978-1-925569-37-7
Category Reports and submissions
Publication Date 23 October 2012

Summary

Research shows that maintaining one’s dignity (and associated self-respect) is a fundamental human need, and that people are likely to react as intensely to a threat to their dignity as they are to a threat to their physical safety (to freeze, flee or fight). Violations of dignity caused by disrespect, and trauma caused by humiliation, can trigger a range of powerful reactions including anger, shame and even violence. Many entrenched disputes and unresolved conflicts can be traced back to an initial real or perceived violation of a person’s dignity or sense of identity. Complainants who feel they have been disrespected may believe their complaints were not believed or taken seriously, or their competence and ethics were questioned. These reactions can lead to a quest for vindication, retribution or revenge – all motivated by the need to restore self-respect. Consistently showing respect is therefore fundamental to good complaint handling and dispute resolution.
Our new fact sheet has some of the strategies for treating all parties to a complaint with respect - read our fact sheet to learn more.

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