Data is everything , or Is It? — A continued (HR) work in progress
Living in the digital age continues to make it harder to be human. Mistakes are scrutinized and perfection is expected. You only have one chance to make a good impression, your credibility goes out the door and you’re burned at the stake.
Okay, well maybe not the last part, but I did feel that way more times than I’d like to admit. Don’t get me wrong, data never lies and is a great tool in contributing to a final decision that’s made, but it isn’t everything. How is the data being interpreted? What outliers need to be addressed as part of the decision making process? And is the “Human,” aspect being considered?
As an HR Representative, I was a steward of the company, and my role was and still is to mitigate risk at all costs. At the same time, I always acknowledged there was a living, breathing human being on the other side of the table who had feelings just like the rest of us; someone who should be treated with empathy, fairness and respect, regardless of what situation they are in. You cannot compartmentalize or minimize these soft skills. Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness are key characteristics and the building blocks of Human Resources which is something that is too easy to forget.
So where does this leave us: To Err is Human. Making mistakes is a necessity and should never be frowned upon with the understanding that there are exceptions to this rule (i.e — degree of the mistake or the same mistake is made over and over and over again), which would be a different conversation.
Mistakes help us grow, they identify areas which we don’t fully understand and allow us to improve on. Data will always be the foundation for making critical decisions, but let’s not forget that there is more than numbers and letters on a page to consider when making any decision, there’s also someone who will be affected in one way or another by your actions.