Beating the odds, school dropout from Old City of Hyderabad Tahawar Ali Khan stands out today as a successful skills trainer. In a conversation with Fasiullah SM, he shares what goes in the mind of a dropout and how to make our own way for successful career.
From being a school dropout to a successful skills trainer, how this transformation happened?
It is said that there is no other path one could have trudged along to reach where one has reached now. So in this light no other way to travel. In one sense, it’s the destiny which prepares you for a greater cause and purpose.
On the other side, the physical or the visible part of it, which we as physical beings need to accomplish that greater cause and purpose. So, I guess my tough preparation every day was destined to get me here.
As a school dropout, in fact, no school at all, it really was not a tough but yes a terrible job. There were several things, situations, circumstances, peoples and times I had to deal with.
Among all those, nothings is more devastating and destroying than the comparisons, taunts, and laughter of people I had to accept, live and deal with every moment.
I, however, had that little seed of belief sown somewhere in the back of my head, first by nature and then by my parents that I am to be a leader and a winner over people. Thought that started manifesting in later years of my life, and there still is a lot which needs to be manifested.
The first tough part was that of language and that too an alien one, English! It was my parents who made me read aloud and write several pages of it every single day. I read whatever I could lay my hand at, right from newspapers to fairy tales, fiction to poetry.
After my initial phase of introduction to the English language, I started teaching the same to other boys like that of mine, in terms of language and confidence, who though went to schools, however, could not get to learn much. This was the beginning of my career as a trainer.
However, I tried several corporate jobs before eventually settled as a professional trainer to talk to people and help them live better.
When you stand in front of armed forces and govt. officials to train them, what’s the first thing you do to attract their attention?
We as normal human beings usually hold some pre-conceived notions about people, events, and situations around us. This is even truer in formal settings, hence the difficulty in effective communication. So the first thing I keep in mind is to break the psychological or emotional barriers which one holds in his/her mind.
I apply several psychological techniques and strategies to venture into the other persons’ space, thereby making them comfortable and making them open up easily.
Once barriers broke, it becomes much easier for the participants to learn and then apply the teachings in their work and life.
You seem to have an inclination towards psychology. Could you tell us what goes in the mind of a drop out student?
Having previously said, I personally had to deal with a lot of issues to come up the learning curve and prove my worth.
We as a society are still at bay in terms of accepting our kids as and how they are.
The dropouts, as I can relate to them very easily, have a tough time coping up with the taunts and name callings of people. They feel alienated from the society, develop a greater degree of low self-esteem, and are emotionally and psychologically very volatile and ambiguous.
We have strong comparisons in terms of marks and performance for the very kids who go to schools, leaving them at the mercy of their own psyche to deal with the after effects of such comparisons.
In pursuit of making the parents proud and accomplished in the name of quarterly results and mark-sheets, these kids are hard-wired to make others happy. In light of this scenario, if one observes the disparity among the same class of students in a school, I guess it’s not uneasy to imagine the plight of somebody who has never been to any school or a dropout. Hence the reason for them to feel isolated and left apart.
There aren’t enough measures to engage with drop outs. How can the confidence of school and college dropouts be regained to bring them back to education?
As someone rightly said, our needs are not political but economic. Most of the dropouts choose to be so not because they want to, but because of the financial concerns of their families at large.
In wake of this, we as a society need to be concentrating on two major aspects: parental issues and individual concerns.
Irrespective of the concerns and challenges at home of any degree, the parents must be ready to instill confidence and have faith in the kids, especially the girls. Parents need to be breaking their ego and age barrier for and with their kids, sit and talk to them about their issues, their likes and dislikes about education and career.
Then there is the need to make them understand the importance of education, this is where they need to undergo transformational changes in their thought process, which could be achieved through counselors and therapists.
You have changed many companies to eventually become a professional trainer. What’s your favorite moment in your career?
Most of the world is fed up and frustrated with their current jobs and professional life. The working population does not seem to be very much happy. They work somewhere where they are not happy, but sad and pressurized every day.
I believe that dissatisfaction and unhappiness are the results when we believe in something and do exactly the opposite. And I was no different than the rest of the world during the initial days of my professional life: happy somewhere and sad at work. Rather than concentrating on improving skills and acquiring more knowledge, I was more inclined towards the end result i.e. happiness.
Ever since I chose training wherein my excitement, satisfaction and happiness lies, I have been enjoying every moment of helping people. Training remains favorite moment or phase of my life.
Language skills are more important than any other skills. Is this a right conclusion to draw from your life?
Yes, when you are good at a language then you stand a better chance in communicating your ideas confidently and in a polished way to the world. In addition to the language, one needs to learn various skills and keep improving on them on a daily basis.