TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM-L ArchivesArchiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2009-04 > 1240320094
From: Melanie Holtz <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] Was People Handling Article in APG Quarterly,Now Discussion of Professionaliam on APG List
Date: Tue, 21 Apr 2009 13:21:34 +0000
I can't specifically comment on Mr. Mokotoff's article till I go home and pull that issue from my bookshelp to reread but I did want to say something about the recent discussion on professionalism on the APG list.
Please don't let it discourage you. This issue comes up now and again and the same people are usually involved. Those that display the least amount of professionalism in the discussions are often the same ones that refuse to join APG and support it's mission. There are some people who just like to be in the midst of conflict. That said, the majority of APG members and readers of the list are very professional and the APG list is a great source of learning. Please stay with it.
After a while you will know whose emails to just not open. :)
Melanie D. Holtz
Holtz Research Services
Member, Association of Professional Genealogists
> Date: Tue, 21 Apr 2009 10:16:55 +0800
> Subject: [TGF] People Handling Article in APG Quarterly
> As a transitional genealogist, I recently joined the APG and received
> a copy of the December 2008 APG Quarterly with my membership packet.
> I eagerly started reading the articles in the issue, and for the most
> part thought they were well written and quite interesting. However,
> the article entitled "People Handling" by Gary Mokotoff had several
> sections that troubled me. I thought about posting this e-mail on the
> APG forum, but am reluctant to do so because of some recent
> hostilities, specifically over the issue of Professionalism.
> Therefore, I'm hoping I might be able to ask some questions and prompt
> a discussion on this (friendlier) list.
> My main concern with the article was the section entitled "Dealing
> with Prospects." In it, the author suggests that professional
> genealogists 1) become friends with their clients, 2) name drop, and
> 3) sell fear. I'm wondering if professional genealogists engage in
> and approve of these tactics in dealing with their clients. In my day
> job (I'm a veterinarian), I have to sell my knowledge and expertise to
> multiple clients every day. In my experience, those three tactics are
> actually counter-productive to maintaining professionalism.
> For example, although I may quite like a client on a personal level,
> and of course my dealings with the client are friendly and agreeable,
> I do NOT become friends with the client. A "friend" will discount
> services, give away services or products for free and will accept
> calls at any hour of day or night. I don't know about you, but I
> don't want a client calling me at 11:30 at night because they just had
> a great idea of where I should look for Great-grandpa's tombstone. I
> think a professional relationship (and distance) needs to be maintained.
> I think the name dropping idea is probably more of a personal
> preference, but I think a list of references with contact information
> is more effective than dropping names. In veterinary medicine, I
> would NEVER mention that I am also the personal veterinarian to
> President Obama's new dog. That sort of thing is just seen as
> But my biggest issue is with the idea of selling fear, at least in the
> way the author suggest. In his example he states "I doubt if you will
> find anyone who knows more than me about people living in Indiana
> before 1850 and anybody else's research might be incomplete, and you
> will not know it." I have no problem with professional genealogists
> tooting their own horn. By all means, tell your prospective clients
> that you have vast amounts of experience in a particular area of
> expertise. But, I don't think it is appropriate to boost your own
> image by degrading the image of your colleagues. And I think the
> statement made by the author does just that - he is stating that work
> done by other researchers will be inadequate, which simply is not
> professional. When a veterinary client comes to me for a spay surgery
> on their cat, I will tell them that I have over 10 of years of
> experience, high quality surgical equipment and well trained staff,
> etc. What I don't say is "If you don't use me to spay your cat, some
> other vet will probably kill it because they don't have the
> experience, equipment and staff that I do."
> I'm sorry about the long-winded e-mail - this topic has been bothering
> me since I read the article and especially after the discussions on
> the APG e-mail list recently about professionalism (and the obvious
> lack thereof by some of the people posting). Thanks in advance for
> your insights.
> Bethany Waterbury Klus
> Ancestor Hound
> Great Lakes Research
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|Re: [TGF] Was People Handling Article in APG Quarterly,Now Discussion of Professionaliam on APG List by Melanie Holtz <>|