many pale green eggs in a carton

building rapport in a listening session

Participants experience various emotions as they begin a listening session with you

workshop participants practice listening in pairs

listening tips

Q&A from my recent workshops

Two people talking at another dining table at an event

eavesdropping

Active listening is not simply about trying to recognize a person’s emotion

Doll in foreground, mountain landscape in background

the 1:10 ratio

I spend 10x the hours in analysis as I do in the listening sessions.

Wish these were carrots growing, but instead there are cabbages, lettuce, and fennel

listening deeply

You can’t develop cognitive empathy just by looking

sunset with pond and mtns in the background, lawn in foreground

Eat, Smell, Prey

exploring an example problem space This case study aims to encourage you to get some problem-facing research started, using practical empathy and mental model diagrams. Researching the problem (as opposed to the solution) is a lot easier than you might… Read More

Indi speaking at Impact Hub, Oakland, CA

enabling empathy

Creative Mornings is a global breakfast lecture series for the creative community. There are monthly themes, and the theme for September 2015 was “empathy.” I was invited to speak at the Oakland chapter of Creative Mornings. I cover… Read More

two people listening intently, while pen and notepad rest unused on table

ask the UXperts empathy & active listening

The practice of note-taking is heavily ingrained. Throughout school, students take notes as a way of remembering things and as a sense-making tool. This carries over into people’s professional lives. There is a time, however, when taking notes… Read More

generalizations get you nowhere

Much of the time, people default to generalizations when describing how they approach things. It’s habit. Generalizations unfortunately tend to gloss over the details of thinking and reacting and instead focus on explanation. When developing empathy, you want… Read More

cloud and bird talking to each other

intelligence vs. understanding

This article originally appeared in the inaugural edition of Scroll magazine in September 2008. Reprinted below. “You can­not develop a good solu­tion for some­one with­out empathis­ing with that per­son. Maybe you know the facts. For example, a cus­tomer needs to… Read More