03 Mar 2017
Fathima: Why did you choose your career in training?
Dr.K.Raman: I choose my career in training due to the following two reasons:
a. Right from my school and college days, I used to get involved in group studies and discussions with my classmates. Since I had a gift of communicating complex subjects in a simple and understandable manner, many of my own classmates and even juniors approach me for clarifying their doubts. When I joined my company, I realized that my skills in communication is coming very handy for me and I was able to use it very effectively to coach and develop my team members. Over a period of time it turned out to be one of my strengths. So, I started to further improve on my communication skills and this helped me to become a good trainer.
b. While imparting training to others, you also tend to learn from them. In addition, I realized that one also need to keep continuously updated with new information to become a good trainer. Continuous learning and updating the knowledge is one of the key success of any trainer. This will also keep you ahead of others since a well read and knowledgeable person is always respected.
Fathima: What are your areas of interest in training?
Dr.K.Raman: My key areas of interest are :
a. Leadership skills
b. Potential to Performance development
c. Career Planning & Development
d. Developing Cognitive Skills for Smart Learning
Fathima: What methodologies do you use in your training, to make it lively and entertaining?
Dr.K.Raman: I normally use the following methodologies while training:
a. Interactive participation
b. Stories and sharing of experiences etc.
c. Group activities and games
d. Visual videos
Fathima: What change do you bring to a participant who attends your session?
Dr.K.Raman: I try and bring out the following changes among participants :
a. Identify hidden talents
b. Ignite inner potential leading to outperform
c. Develop self-confidence to face future challenges
Fathima: What was the successful learning intervention that you implemented so far in your training career?
a. Each and every individuals have immense potential to face life challenges and excel in their own field or any other field which they intent to pursue
b. Individuals are much better and talented than the marks/grades/internal assessment etc. that are being used to judge or rate them. Any sort of feed-back given does not mean that they are a bad person or a performer.
Fathima: As a trainer, how do you ensure that everyone in your training session develops their skill? We know, different people have different learning speed and grasping power.
Dr.K.Raman: Yes. Each and every individual have different ways of picking-up the contents and their learning speed varies, since any group consists of heterogeneous individuals. It is often said that `adults are babies with bigger bellies’. So, one should try and ensure that there is very good engagement and participation during any training session. After each and every small session, the trainer should try and summarize the contents, try to find out what is the level of learning across participants. If needed, there can be some small questions and answer sessions coupled with rewards for those who are answering correctly. Also, a trainer should keep the sessions interesting and interactive by way of games, role plays and some group activities etc., since these will ensure quick and fast learning, particularly among adults!
One more important aspect is that a trainer needs to make the participant try and implement some of the learning from the program either at their work place or at other areas of their interest. Some sort of networking is essential with participants, even after the training session. This will ensure the `take away and positive learning from training sessions!
Fathima: What is the best compliment you received for your session?
Dr.K.Raman: Many of the participants after going back send emails appreciating the conduct of the program along with what they have learned and implemented. At times some suggestions also for improvements etc. which is very vital for the trainer to improve on his own performance.
Fathima: Which was your very successful and personally satisfying training experience?
Dr.K.Raman: One of the recent training program which I conducted for +2 school children on the topic, `` How to de-learn and re-learn’ was my best satisfying experience. All the children expressed their concern that if such a program was organized 2 or 3 years back, they would have equipped themselves very well and planned for future in a better manner!
Fathima: What has been the most difficult training situation that you have had to deal with?
Dr.K.Raman: Keeping the participants on a `continuous learning mode’ is the most difficult task I have faced during any training session.
Fathima: Which is your favorite book?
Dr.K.Raman: My favorite book is still , `David Copperfield’, by Charles Dickens.
Fathima: Who is your role model?
Dr.K.Raman: My role models are my parents, who could not go to college to earn a degree, but struggled throughout their life to give me the best education and values they can !
Fathima: What quote do you live by?
Dr.K.Raman: I love one of the quotes by David Frost, and try to live by that…``Don’t aim for success if you want it, just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally ’’.
Fathima: Who inspired you the most?
Dr.K.Raman: My company director & Chairman, Mr Nadir Godrej! Despite his educational background, busy schedules and responsibilities etc. of managing a very large corporate, he is very humble, always approachable and willing to meet and discuss with anyone at any levels, who want to seek his guidance or suggestions etc.
Dr.K.Raman: I normally use to tell many success stories (and even sometimes failure stories), form the corporate world or from own experiences etc. to inspire the participants. Sometimes, the participants will also have their own insights to share with others.
Fathima: Share us a challenge that you faced in your life and the way you overcome the same.
Dr.K.Raman: Though I was from marketing, I had a passion for training and also competent to organize training program (qualified ISTD trainer etc.,) my company VP(HR), was not convinced of the same and continued to hire outside trainers! This was a real challenge for me as to how to convince my HR about my expertize. It is a known fact that any outside faculty often come with a heavy `price tag’, but have very little experience and knowledge about products or activities the company does ! In my case we were into Agri inputs, animal feeds, dairy business, Oil Palm plantations and so on. Also, I found that quite often many trainers do not try to identify the actual training needs. They modify some parts of their routine training material(s), do some cosmetic changes and convince management. Once the training program is over, the participants gain very little from it and seldom apply the same at their work place for any improvement. Having understood this, I approached the MD of our company and presented my case in a convincing manner. Not only he readily agreed to involve me as `Corporate Trainer’ but also entrusted on me to organize a series of training programs for frontline mangers and executives etc.
Fathima: In the competitive and technology ridden world, what changes can you bring?
Dr.K.Raman: Challenge the status quo and continuously updating your knowledge in pace with the competitive world and technology so that one will be able to know what are the real needs and demands of the industry.
Fathima: Your message /advice to the youth reading this interview?
ü Aspire high and set a clear-cut vision on what you want to `DO’ rather than what you want to `BE’?
ü Search and identify one’s own hidden potential for excellence
ü Do not imitate or compare with others and develop `herd mentality’
ü Strongly believe that there are no short-cuts for achieving career goals !