I unearthed the following email conversations with Undergraduate students while exploring what was there in the archive. These are purely content-based questions and answers. Crafted with clear sense of the audience and their expectations, the responses have tended to be reasonably academic and professional. These also somehow justify to me the worth of beyond-the-class engagement with students, which I then thought was necessary to establish a purely humane relationship in and out of the classroom setting.

I recall that the idea of dialoguing with students had occurred to me some five years ago while discussing “What is a good question?” and “How to write an effective email?”. I have taken this pleasant burden of responding youngsters’ serious queries ever since Fall 2016, and want to do this so long as I remain in teaching.

Communication is very vast as well as challenging subject as it differ from one individual to another what inspired you to choose this subject and excel in it?

I agree communication is a vast area. My background is (English) literature which, I believe, is the finest form of communication. Formally, I decided to specialize in communication by a practical necessity. I was one of the initiators and promoters of the Media Studies program under the Department of Languages and Mass Communication, School of Arts, till August 2013. I took up communication with an aim to become a pillar to both the department and the program. Even though both were shifted to Hattiban and I had to remain in Dhulikhel, my specialization has come to use in a number of fronts. And I also chose communication simply because it was a professional necessity for teaching technical communication skills to the students of science and technology.

What is the difference between matrix communication and network communication?

One essential difference lies in the location(s) of communication. Matrix communication generally denotes communication within an organization, where interactions/transactions occur through top-down, bottom-up, diagonal , back-and-forth and radial channels and directions rather than through linear or purely vertical paths. Network communication involves communication within and outside an institution. You can consider this: How does KU library communicate? First, it communicates vertically to offices above it. It also communicates horizontally with different schools and departments. And it can communicate all at a time with higher, lower and lateral authorities — through vertical, horizontal and diagonal channels. And when it communicates with other libraries, suppliers and publishers using a common available channel, it does network communication. This is a preliminary idea. You might find a lot more online.

What happens if minutes of meeting are lost before the decision is implemented?

Losing final minutes is a serious blunder. I have never heard this happen anywhere. If minutes are lost, the record-keeper or any official who preserves such documents is liable to be punished.

In most simple cases, though, minutes can be rewritten in further consultation with the meeting members, and implementation follows. But if one set of minutes is lost, the whole folder/ register containing past minutes will have been lost, especially in a traditional office where records are not necessary digitized or backed up. This loss is irreparable since you will have lost institutional memory as well.

What are the qualities in a writing that you consider impressive?

I consider reasonable conciseness and maintenance of rhythm impressive in any writing. By conciseness I mean reasonable length. Long sentences do not make you smart, nor do big words. By rhythm I mean the alternation of long and short sentences, or maximum use of short words. That your readers understand you matters the most. That they enjoy your text, feel like imitating your style and even copy some expressions matters a lot. To me, at least, it matters that my readers do not dump my text until they reach the final full-stop. Did you see I tried to maintain both conciseness and rhythm in my answers? If you did not, try editing my answers to make the message as clear and straightforward as possible. That’s another assignment for you. 

How is your communicating skill is so good?

Is it? Do you mean ‘how’, or ‘why’? The answer to ‘how’ is tricky. It must be good because you think so. Anything being good or bad depends on the audience’s perspective. The answer to ‘why’ is as simple as this: it is good because of being polished through practice for years. And, I specialize in communication and rhetoric through five years of doctoral study.  Also, Apart from being an English teacher throughout, I have been in roles that demand high frequency of communication/negotiations — hostel warden, high school vice-principal, program host, stage performer, associate director, program/department coordinator etc. etc. An extremely shy person until teenage, I have grown tremendously communicative because of practice and exposure by all the time being mindful of decency and standard.

What is the best way to motivate yourself?

I try to nurture these simple thoughts. (i) I am a unique creature. There is only one being like me in this world, and that’s me. If I am not there, that being will also not be there. There is no guarantee anyone like me will be born in the future. (ii) No matter how many (and how often) frustrations surround me, I am essentially more prone to happiness and optimism. Happiness is my right even though frequent sorrows are unavoidable. (iii) I have a long journey to cover, if not a long life to live. And I will cover the distance of my share at any cost. (iv) The society is largely populated by good, kind and helpful people. I must be thankful I am not surrounded by haters and torturers. (v) My parents, relatives, friends and teachers will never let me fail, fall and feel useless.

How should we read so that we can remember it for long time? According to your personal experience.

I suggest you to study, rather than just read. Studying involves trying to understand the concepts by reading, reflecting, interacting, and reproducing in other forms like presentation or writing. If you try to extend your learning beyond just reading and mugging up the ideas, you will be able to remember them. You do not need to remember ideas ditto, but keep in mind a number of signals/indicators that represent the idea. I have hardly ever tried to mug up things, but have always made sure to internalize (that is to make it a part of my experience). This may involve reflecting how the concept really matters to me. If you have noticed clearly, I try to do this in my teaching also — linking the theoretical concepts with real-life experiences.

What are the characteristics of a successful corporate culture? I believe there are five points to be considered; namely: “vision”, “values”, “practices”, “people”, “narrative and place”. I truly wish these points to be elaborated.

Let me stick to these points, without trying alternatives. Vision is a shared ideal that guides the members of the corporation. It guides their actions; it defines the way they identify with the institution’s successes; it gives cues for communication among the members, about the institution and with external partners. Values reflect the vision. They form the vision, in fact. These indicate commonalities among the members (people) of the organization, and basic sets of etiquette perceived as explicit in their characters/ conducts. Values guide actions (practices) of people (members). People nurture certain stories/myths (narratives) different from other institutions and specific to their own institutional locations. These narratives provide references of successes and achievements further bind the people.

To sum up, a successful corporate culture involves dynamic and competent work force who are solely guided by corporate ideals, shared values and intimate metaphors and cultural representations.  

How to enhance Leadership Quality? 

Start with a belief that you are born to lead and you have the instinct and qualities for it. Start mixing with peers and seniors with a proposal that you can make yourself useful to them and they can trust you for certain kind of assistance, especially one that motivates actions and changes in them. Leadership grows with responsibilities, which do not come to you unless you show potentials to perform and readiness (call it willingness) to accept, and sometimes, snatch them.

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By hkafle

I am a University teacher, with passion for literature and music.

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