Building Bridges, Overcoming Biases, Communicating Effectively
Imagine a river called bias separating communicators and audiences on opposing banks. These unconscious biases, prejudices, and stereotypes form barriers to effective communication, affecting dietetics professionals in all practice and educational settings. They include negative perceptions based on race, body size, age, gender, disability, education, economic class, and more. This session will examine their impact on dietetics practice and education in clinical, community, and collegiate settings, as well as ways these issues have intensified due to the pandemic. The session will shift from problem to solution as we build bridges using evidence-based approaches to overcoming biases. These include self-awareness, acknowledging discomfort, promoting diversity, practicing cultural humility, building relationships, demonstrating empathy and respect, asking appropriate questions, listening and observing, collaboration, and more. These bridges effectively connect communicators and audiences, overcome biases, promote equity and social responsibility, and allow for communication to meet needs, solve problems, and change lives.
- Describe the prevalence and negative impact of unconscious biases and stereotypes on the effectiveness of communication in dietetics practice and education focusing on clinical, community, and collegiate settings.
- Detail evidence-based strategies for building bridges that connect communicators and audiences, overcome biases, and create collaborative and effective communication.
- Prioritize practical steps dietetics professionals can take for building awareness of personal biases, acquiring additional knowledge and skills, and determining specific action steps to overcome biases and communicate effectively.
- 2.1.7 Delivers information and opinions in a respectful and professional manner.
- 3.1.2 Fosters a culture in which diversity and cross-team collaboration are valued.
- 9.4.6 Uses socially and culturally appropriate strategies in order to respect diverse cultures and values.
Barbara Mayfield, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
Founder and President
Nutrition Communicator, LLC
Marie Allsopp, DrPH, RD, LD, CHES
Clinical Assistant Professor
Purdue University, Department of Nutrition Sciences
Sarah Crulcich, MPH, RD, LD
Health Promotion Coordinator
The Houston Food Bank
Rene Roberts, MS, MD, FAAFP
Staff Physician (Family Medicine)
Regional Health Systems (Regional Health Clinic)