The time for assuming a person’s gender, ethnicity or race is over.
All businesses collect some form of data and events are no exception. Attendees anticipate pre-event data seeking by event organizers, but depending on the delivery of the questions asked, may not provide accurate information out of fear of discrimination. In a recent TED Talk, Tamekia MizLadi Smith spoke to the costs of bad data, which may far exceed bubbly vs. scotch on the rocks in the world of meetings and incentives where multimillion-dollar events are often powerful, life changing economic drivers for local and global communities.
She calls her data training “grace,” in that the road to overcoming the barriers that lead to bad connections and ultimately bad data, or the kind of data that breeds miscommunication, is paved with human dignity and a safe space for open dialogue.
“I remember being the front desk specialist, and when I went to the office of equity to start working, I was like, “Is that why they asked us to ask that question?” MizLadi Smith says. “It all became a bright light to me, and I realized that I … I called [people] by the wrong gender, I called them by the wrong race, I called them by the wrong ethnicity, and the environment became hostile, people were offended and I was frustrated because I was not graced.”
MizLadi Smith Defines Grace Training As:
G: Getting data collectors involved and letting them know
R: the Relevance of their role as they become
A: Accountable for the accuracy of data while implementing
C: Compassionate care within all encounters by becoming
E: Equipped with the education needed to inform people of why data collection is so important
“When teaching human beings to communicate with other human beings, it should be delivered by a human being.”
In short, “people are more likely to share information when they are treated with respect by knowledgeable staff members,” MizLadi Smith says. And when it comes to instructing staff on the importance of grace in communicating with clients or attendees, all the technology in the world cannot replace the empathy and compassion that strengthens connections among people. “When teaching human beings to communicate with other human beings, it should be delivered by a human being.”