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 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.


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/