Ramesh is the founder of Onefluencer, a training organization that empowers leaders in their journey towards becoming powerful change agents using the versatile tools available in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP).
He leads his participants into a state of heightened awareness about their enormous potential. Then he helps them discover how their current thinking and behaviour patterns might be impeding their blossoming. Many end up exhibiting more of their magnificence to the world. I know several people in whose journeys Ramesh Prasad has made a huge difference by shining his light.
He demonstrates how debilitating thought, behaviour and speech patterns can be overcome by understanding the structure of subjective experiences. And by learning to model the excellence in people. This is the essence of NLP.
Following my request, on a sunny Sunday morning, we meet at Anna University where most of his training programmes are conducted in Chennai. We find a quiet spot under the trees, facing each other. The setting is perfect and beautiful.
Ramesh is someone who downplays his strengths, so I have to dig hard to elicit information.
A man needs a little madness, or else….he never dares cut the rope and be free.
Listening to him, I sense, Ramesh is one for decisions taken on the spur of the moment. He calls it being “crazy”. He displayed this streak when he decided to leave the pharmaceutical field where he was doing exceptionally well for sixteen years and changed his career track to the banking sector. After six months, he asked for and got a job in training, attracted by the possibilities of transforming people. Within three years, he quit that job too, for he wanted to branch out on his own.
I urge him to speak about taking “crazy” decisions at critical moments in his life. He stands up, moves some distance and I watch his face become very animated. He tells me being crazy is an urge…..a dissatisfaction with the way things are. It is as if his soul is restless to find a path that resonates with his inner cravings.
I am reminded of what Zorba the Greek tells a young philosopher – “A man needs a little madness, or else… he never dares cut the rope and be free.”
I realize, Ramesh does precisely this in his trainings –helping leaders find the courage to cut their ropes to live fully – untethered.
Being crazy comes with a price tag? – I quiz him. Ramesh replies, after branching out into training, he sold his car, air conditioner, cut down on expenses and even used a part of his house as a paying-guest accommodation to make the blow lighter. His wife Tulsi was his source of strength through this turbulent period.
His painstaking research led him to NLP as a means of impacting people’s lives. Ashok Subramaniam in Delhi first introduced Ramesh to the nuances of NLP. Immediately after that, he learned from an internationally acclaimed NLP trainer, Sue Knight. Words gush from him as he speaks about her – someone who basks in her inner light, is humble, extremely nimble in understanding people, connecting with people effortlessly, he goes on….
Ramesh as a Trainer
His initial days as a trainer were very hard. At times only two to four people turned up for his Foundation Courses. He now has established an enviable reputation and conducts training programmes all over the country and even abroad.
Ramesh is in his element when he is training people. He does not come with a rigid agenda. He loosens up and is aware as he watches people and hears their words. He allows the agenda to evolve based on the feedbacks of the people in the room. At times he offers to decipher the hidden meanings behind words. He asks a lot of questions and lets the delegates find their own answers rather than dish out ready-made solutions.
Ramesh loves training for the exhilaration of being challenged all the time, for the fact that every training is unique and especially because it is an ego shattering experience.
For him, training continues beyond the classroom. He willingly obliges when people want to invest time with him separately to have more clarity. There is an itch to go out of his way to help people but yields to his knowing that he cannot prise them out of their space.
Looking back I realize, Ramesh was the one to remind me – sitting on a bench in Thiruvanmiyur beach – that there is a writer lurking within me and it is alright to announce myself to the world, as I am.
I listen to him as he talks about his early days in Pondicherry. About his hardworking and austere father who made sure young Ramesh learned to have a healthy respect for money. And about his memories of taking part in all games that were available. His interests lay in NCC, rowing, sailing and the Navy and so it was a surprise he came unscathed in his college exams.
Once out of college, finding a job was his priority – his family needed his support. He worked in Bangalore and then in Eastern Uttar Pradesh for sixteen years, marketing pharmaceutical and health care products.
Year after year, he made sure his performance did the talking for him. He excelled in selling conceptual products and people trusted him. Exhibiting excellence in his career afforded him the opportunity to be in total control.
When he was 27 years old, Ramesh told his father he wanted to marry. His father promptly found a girl for him and that is how he married Tulsi. He tells me, being married afforded him more avenues to stay in control.
Walking his Talk on NLP Path
I want to know how NLP tools have helped him in his own life. He tells me that NLP is not as important as the people with whom he seeks to establish deep, empowering connections. NLP helped him discover love. He is in love with his wife Tulsi for whom he has only words of admiration and gratitude. And, he is in love with life and people. Now, he does not have the need to be in control of situations and people. Awareness intimates him of times his actions are not in congruence with his beliefs and he keeps learning.
I have seen this over and over – people learn more from the life of the trainer than they learn from what he or she teaches. His congruent words and actions draw people to him and leave lasting impressions. He hardly needs advertisements.
Driven by a Cause? Ramesh’s Outcome
I ask him about his outcome. His answer disappoints me, initially. His outcome for him, is being fully aware of what is happening in him and the environment. And, being and offering excellence in what he does.
Is he not falling a victim to self-limiting beliefs by not stretching and doing something gigantic in his field of training? After all, didn’t he produce impressive results in the corporate sector?
Ramesh tells me, if he ever chose to embrace a gigantic goal, he has within him the resources – will power, systems, strategies and energy levels to ensure its fruition. Such an outcome does not make him feel passionate.
His outcome is to make a difference and not to create a splash – that is what I infer.
Reflecting on how he has caused an impact in my life, right from the first course I attended with him leading, I rebuke myself for asking an insensitive question.
He reminds me of the proverbial sage on the mountain. Some people experience the turmoils within them subside during their climb to the summit. Many find their answers during their encounter with him. He leaves a few with more questions and nagging pain. Some remain, unchanged and unimpressed.
Ramesh’s quest for excellence continues.