March 23, 2022

On Being Heard and Learning to Listen with Nethra Samarawickrema

On Being Heard and Learning to Listen with Nethra Samarawickrema

When we think about social science and social scientists working out in the world, we tend to jump to the science part, you know jobs that focus on research - consumer research, user experience research, or qualitative studies for non-profits. But if...


When we think about social science and social scientists working out in the world, we tend to jump to the science part, you know jobs that focus on research - consumer research, user experience research, or qualitative studies for non-profits. But if you have any experience with therapy, whether as a patient or therapist, worked with a career or life coach, or anything to do with conflict mediation, you might have noticed there’s more than a little overlap in skill sets with anthropology.

I have been really fortunate to get to know Nethra Samarawickrema, co-founder of the Listen Up Lab, an anthropologist and coach and all around calming presence - something we need more of today.

What’s her secret? Well a lot of things, but one I want to pull out here is her application of a mode of listening called Nonviolent Communication. Nethra reveals the common connection between anthropology and nonviolent communication that drew her to both and shows how they complement one another. Think about things like withholding judgment, active listening, situated perceptiveness.


If this episode sounds good to you, I highly recommend you check out our conversation with Jeremy Pollack on how to manage social conflict, communicate effectively and finding common ground. These episodes complement one another really well.

https://www.thisanthrolife.org/how-to-manage-social-conflict-communicate-effectively-and-find-common-ground-with-jeremy-pollack/

Listenup Lab: https://www.listenuplab.com/

Listen Up Lab is running a 2-day online workshop called FLOW to support writers and artists with unblocking themselves on April 23 and 24th, 2022. The details and sign up information can be found here: https://www.listenuplab.com/course-content-flow

Nethra would love to connect with people who might be interested in coaching related to work, creativity, or getting in touch with their needs in their relationships. She offers free introductory hour-long coaching sessions that folks can sign up for on my website here: https://www.workwithnethra.com/

Nethra Samarawickrema Profile Photo

Nethra Samarawickrema

Coach

Nethra Samarawickrema is an anthropologist, coach, and
writer based in Sausalito, California. Her work is grounded in
a unique method that combines Nonviolent Communication
(NVC), ethnography, and design thinking. She has a PhD in
anthropology from Stanford University and has been
practicing Nonviolent Communication for 22 years. She has
taught at the Stanford d.School, alongside her collaborator
Yuri Zaitsev. Together, they run the Listening Lab where they
host workshops on unblocking writing, collaboration, and
difficult conversations.

Through her coaching practice, Listen Up, she brings the transformative capacity of empathy to help people discover their needs. She provides a space where people can express all their complex and contradictory feelings and access what they most want
to bring into their lives but have been blocked from realizing. She has found that when her clients access what matters most to them, dramatic transformations happen in their lives.