The importance of being accurate

22 September 2015

As regular blog readers will know, my best and most favourite subject at school was certainly not English. It is my first language but not one at which I was exceptionally gifted. Having done a degree in Chemistry with a Year in Europe (France – which turned out to be Canada), with a strong leaning towards Physics, it is perhaps a little surprising that I ended up where I am now. I like to think that it is my research and problem solving brain which landed me here…. but who really knows!

Over the years that I have been blogging, I do tend to steer well clear of strongly opinionated items, favouring observations based on facts. What is important in the field of genealogy is accuracy…. It is hard to ensure accurate sources from yesteryear but surely not so difficult to make sure that the records of today are correct?

Although the newly designed Events 2015 page doesn’t show it at the moment (work in progress), this year is set to hit well over 60 lectures…. I know, I need to add bucket loads! That’s what comes from being a busy Rockstar – no time to add the damned things to the list! September is a bumper month with eight lectures in this month alone…. it certainly makes it hard to fit everything else in, despite September apparently being ‘a longer month’.

When lectures are booked, people ask me what equipment I need and for a precis of my talk. I have invested in a data projector this year to avoid having to borrow other people’s kit constantly, and I always provide details of the lectures and a paragraph for publicity. What I do not understand is how this can sometimes be mangled up so much that is doesn’t even vaguely resemble what I submitted? Pardon me, but how? Am I supposed to suddenly change the content of the lecture you agreed, to the one you advertise? Sorry, but no! And, is it too much to ask for an extension bar (extension lead) to be provided? I end up packing a pantechnicon for most events….

Accuracy in communication is crucial in our profession, as is the attention to detail and acknowledgement (citation) of sources. We (at FWL) can create a family tree based on the foundations provided, but what if they are incorrect? Each and every connection must be fully documented to ensure accuracy and it helps if communications when booking lectures is considered in the same way.

Best advice following our last month of communications: make sure that the person receiving the information has the same understanding as the sender! Avoid misunderstandings by ensuring 100% clarity before entering into any agreements.

Source image: Sacramento Appraisal Blog

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