Episode 18: Giving Voice with Mary Dixon-Woods

Join the dialogue – text your questions, insights, and feedback to The Dignity Lab podcast.

In this episode, Dr. Griggs interviews Dr. Mary Dixon-Woods, director of The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute at the University of Cambridge. They discuss the critical importance of giving people a voice in healthcare settings and its impact on dignity and organizational culture.

Dr. Dixon-Woods recounts her journey into healthcare improvement, emphasizing the value of interdisciplinary collaboration and evidence-based approaches. She explains how giving people voice allows for the expression of ideas, concerns, and contributions, fostering dignity.

The episode delves into the role of fear in silencing voices, the concept of “forbidden knowledge,” and the necessity of creating environments where unsayable things can be said.

Using personal anecdotes, Dr. Dixon-Woods illustrates the profound impact of voice on workplace satisfaction and engagement. She highlights the importance of structured approaches to diagnosing and addressing problems, as well as techniques for facilitating respectful and effective communication.

This episode underscores the transformative power of giving people a voice in promoting understanding, healing, and organizational change.

Guest Contact:

Episode Resources:


  • Giving people voice combines respect with the opportunity to express ideas, concerns, and contributions, enhancing employee satisfaction and engagement.
  • Fear and “forbidden knowledge” can silence voices, necessitating safe spaces and structured approaches for expression.
  • Effective communication techniques, such as asking clarifying questions, can facilitate respectful dialogue and maintain dignity.
  • Structured approaches and listening systems are essential for diagnosing and addressing organizational issues.
  • Physical work environments and human resource systems significantly impact how valued employees feel, contributing to overall satisfaction.
  • Leadership commitment to listening and taking action is vital for fostering a culture of voice and dignity.

Exploring what it means to live and lead with dignity at work, in our families, in our communities, and in the world.

What is dignity? How can we honor the dignity of others? And how can we repair and reclaim our dignity after harm? Tune in to hear stories about violations of dignity and ways in which we heal, forgive, and make choices about how we show up in a chaotic and fractured world.

Hosted by physician and coach Jennifer Griggs.

Please note: The Dignity Lab is an affiliate of Bookshop.org and will receive 10% of the purchase price when you click through and make a purchase. This supports our production and hosting costs. Bookshop.org doesn’t earn money off bookstore sales, all profits go to independent bookstores. We encourage our listeners to purchase books through Bookshop.org for this reason.

Recent Episodes

Follow Us On

Scroll to Top