Streamline - Fall 2014 - (Page 7)

FromThePresident BY PAM BAUGHMAN, VRWA PRESIDENT Conversations 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! 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. 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! 7

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
Future Operators
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?
Booster Club
eLearning Benefits 35 Membership Application
VRWA Mailbag
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefits Are?
Welcome New Members
VRWA Training Calendar
Board of Directors
VRWA Committees
Index to Advertisers/

Streamline - Fall 2014