Professional Researchers and Empathy

Happy almost New Year!

The end of 2018 has arrived, although I am not quite sure where this year went. While there were moments it felt as if it dragged on and I would never see the light at the end of the tunnel, most days seemed to fly by. As I sit here in these final hours of the year, I have been journaling a lot about my targets for the early part of 2019. I have been evaluating my business, what it has been, what it can no longer be, and what it must become. Who I must become to create in a new way.

I am writing my memoir and a couple of other books at the same time because the world requires hope and inspiration. I require an outlet for some of what I have experienced and felt. I was also put on this earth to help others discover new possibilities to cope with the unknown and difficult. This is requiring me to be very vulnerable and open. Something that is sometimes difficult.

The research we, as professionals, do for people can have serious repercussions in their lives and family. However, in general in the genealogy and military research communities, I don’t see people talking about this. Why is that?

Scrolling through Facebook today, a friend and genealogy colleague we will call “S” posted a meme shared by another colleague that LOL’d the pain a family was going to experience because DNA tests were purchased. There was a family secret the mom had not shared because of her intense grief. “S” stated as professionals or humans, we should not be LOLing or sharing hurtful things, or commenting in ways that cause people pain. We do not know the whole story. Some comments on the original poster’s thread were basically that ‘people need to get over the past and move on.’ Or other more hurtful comments I will not repeat here.

Really? It is THAT easy to forget what happened in the past that caused someone intense pain and grief and was passed down through the family, often unknowingly? Further, how would you feel if someone made comments like this to you about your family? Have we become so uncaring as a society or is it that social media allows people to behave like asses with no consequences to their words or behavior?

What I am seeing many professionals – in any business – lack these days is empathy and the ability to connect on a deeper level with clients to help them navigate the information discovered through genealogical or military research or even DNA.

Empathy is defined as: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Isn’t this what we should be striving for? Not an attitude of ‘let me take your money, toss you some papers, and let you sort yourself out.’

What would it take for the people of the world to start showing more empathy? How could our world change if we did?

I am different……

The primary reason new clients have chosen to work with me is the fact I provide empathy and answers. I go deeper that anyone else in my field and help them sort out the past. I cannot stand by and let someone else suffer with the questions or uncertainty, when I can provide answers, hope, and often a message from their loved one. One client recently sent a testimonial,

“Incredible!  Whether your looking for the smallest of detail, the answer to a question, or the entire story…Mrs. Holik is the researcher, the expert to work with.  I was amazed as to the details, the actual written records, and pictures that she was able to find surrounding my father’s time overseas during WWII…so very much information/detail, even though I wasn’t able to give her much to go on, just my father’s name and that he was in the Army.  Another unexpected, but very special characteristic of Mrs. Holik’s work was her sensitivity, her compassion, her love for the work she’s doing, and for the actual individuals (both alive and having passed) she was working on and for.  She conveyed her sincere interest and care every time, whether on the phone, or in her written communications with me.  Her work is very special, the product that she produces is very special, and she is one very special person.” ~~ Rich Williams

If you are interested in working with a researcher who digs deep, provides empathy, helps you sort out the family stories, secrets, shame, guilt, all in a confidential manner, and help you process the information we discover, I am taking new clients at this time. Feel free to contact me for a free phone consultation to discuss research options, costs, and timelines.

© 2018 World War II Research & Writing Center

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