How to Become Deeply Curious About Other People with Ximena Vengoechea

Ximena’s book and this interview offer some incredibly valuable insights. Listen wherever you stream podcasts (Apple, Spotify, iHeart Radio) or check it out here:


When we’re not paying attention, listening is something we mostly do on autopilot. We hear people but we’re often missing crucial opportunities to go deeper and create authentic, lasting connections. In her book, Listen Like You Mean It: Reclaiming the Lost Art of True Connection, Ximena Vengoechea shares tried-and-true strategies and techniques for not only improving listening and building rapport, but for discovering who people truly are at their core. Honed in her own research sessions and drawn from interviews, Ximena offers a warm, funny and immensely practical approach to learning to listen with intention and attention.

In our conversation, we discuss:

  • What makes someone a really good listener;
  • Having a listening mindset (curiosity, humility and empathy);
  • Ways to become more interested and invested in conversations;
  • Identifying your default listening mode;
  • How we can get comfortable with silence.


Ximena Vengoechea is a user researcher, writer, and illustrator whose work on personal and professional development has been published in Inc., The Washington Post, Newsweek, and Huffington Post. She is the author of the forthcoming book, Listen Like You Mean it: Reclaiming the Lost Art of True Connection (3.30.21, Portfolio/Penguin Random House). She is a contributor at Fast Company and The Muse, and writes Letters from Ximena, a newsletter on tech, culture, career, and creativity. She is best known for her project The Life Audit. An experienced manager, mentor, and researcher in the tech industry, she previously worked at Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Learn more at www.ximenavengoechea.com.



Kristen Manieri is certified as both a habits coach and a mindfulness teacher. She specializes in: stress reduction, energy management, mindset, resilience, habit formation, rest rituals, and self-care. As the host of the weekly 60 Mindful Minutes podcast, an Apple top 100 social science podcast, Kristen has interviewed over 100 authors and thought leaders about what it means to live a more conscious, connected, intentional and joyful life. Learn more at kristenmanieri.com/work-with-me.

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