Streamline - Fall 2014 - (Page 7)
BY PAM BAUGHMAN, VRWA PRESIDENT
MAny yeArS Ago, while driving my pre-teen daughter and a friend to see a movie, I realized they
had become very quiet in the back seat. I asked if everything was okay and they responded in unison,
"Yes." Then it hit me: They were in the back seat, sitting next to each other, texting. They could only
be texting each other about 1) something they did not want me to hear, or 2) they were mocking my
singing skills. Whatever!
I will listen
And, I promise
that you will
I told them that kids today don't know how
to have a "normal conversation." They laughed
at me and said that "times have changed." Have
times really changed that much?
Webster defines conversation as on "oral
exchange of sentiments, observations, opinions or
ideas." I found this interesting. Webster goes on to
state that a "real-time interaction with a computer
especially through a 'keyboard' is also considered
'conversation.'" I assume this can be expanded to
include all types of "keyed" conversations, such
as texting. I guess times really have changed.
In my quest to discover the proper format
for having a meaningful conversation, I found
a quote from Francois de La Rochefoucauld,
French Author and Moralist (1613-1680), "To listen closely and reply well is the highest perfection
we are able to attain in the art of conversation."
Two important points to make regarding this
quote are 1) "listen closely" and 2) "reply well."
It appears that conversations are made up of 50
percent listening and 50 percent replying.
Webster defines listening as follows, "to hear
something with thoughtful attention: give consideration." Listening is obviously important,
but how you listen is vitally important. Do you
continue your current activity when someone
enters the room with something to say - or do
you stop what you are doing and pay attention?
If you stop what you are doing and pay attention,
you can pick up on subtle non-communication
signals, like body language, facial expressions
or even a person's mood.
As important as listening is the manner in
which you reply. I have often been told that there
are no stupid questions, but I have certainly been
made to feel stupid a time or two over the years
when I have posed a question. Pay attention and
take a moment to think about your reply. It could
make a huge difference in answering correctly
or incorrectly, finding a way to avoid hurting
someone's feelings or inserting your foot into
your mouth all the way up to your hip.
I have always strived to think fast and talk
slow, but usually the end result is that I don't think
things through and just let the words flow. My
way of communicating has proven to be both a
blessing and a curse. Maybe it is time for me to
change my manner of communicating.
As President of Virginia Rural Water
Association, I will listen intently to your concerns, comments and/or suggestions. And, I
promise that you will receive an appropriate
reply. Come on ... give it a try. Let's talk! You
can call, email, text or even write me a letter. I
look forward to hearing from you!
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Fall 2014
From the President: Conversations
From the Executive Director: Changes and Updates
The Importance of Continuing Professional Education
Small Town Mayor, Big Time Dedication
Benefits of Water Reclamation and Reuse
USDA Rural Development
2014 EXPO Highlights
Throwing My Loop: Can You Motivate Others?
eLearning Benefits 35 Membership Application
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefits Are?
Welcome New Members
VRWA Training Calendar
Board of Directors
Index to Advertisers/Ad.com
Streamline - Fall 2014