Listen Like You Mean It Book Summary - Listen Like You Mean It Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Listen Like You Mean It summary

Reclaiming the Lost Art of True Connection

4.4 (394 ratings)
24 mins

Brief summary

"Listen Like You Mean It" by Ximena Vengoechea is a practical guide for improving communication skills. It explains how to hear what others are saying, ask better questions and create stronger relationships through active listening.

Table of Contents

    Listen Like You Mean It
    Summary of 8 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 8

    Approach conversations with the intention of really focusing on and engaging with your partner.

    A young researcher, Eve, and her mentor, Mia, were exploring the issue of cyberbullying on their company’s platform. That process involved interviewing celebrities and others who regularly become the targets of abusive comments online.

    Eve and Mia had gotten to their third interviewee when Eve made a serious conversational blunder. She said to the participant, “And the people who write mean things about you – you just ignore them, right?”

    The participant responded that he actually found it difficult to ignore cyberbullies, though he wished he could. Eve responded, “Right, so you would ignore them. Makes sense.”

    It’s easy to see the problem with Eve’s approach here. She was making assumptions based on what she’d heard from other interviewees, and she neglected to consider that this participant’s experience may have been entirely different. 

    The key message here is: Approach conversations with the intention of really focusing on and engaging with your partner.

    Eve was doing what the author calls surface listening. This is when you hear the words that someone is literally saying but don’t bother paying attention to the underlying meaning. Surface listening might cause you to offer unsolicited advice, interrupt your conversation partner, or assume her experience has been the same as yours. 

    What you want to do instead is engage in empathetic listening, which involves making a concerted effort to understand the meaning behind your conversation partner’s words. This activates the listening loop – a virtuous cycle in which your partner feels free to express her emotions, and you in turn are encouraged to express your own. 

    To get in the mindset for empathetic listening, you’ll need to cultivate three distinct qualities: empathy, humility, and curiosity. 

    Empathy is all about being able to imagine what someone else is feeling without necessarily injecting your own experiences into the conversation. To foster this quality, remind yourself that the conversation isn’t all about you, and ask questions specific to the other person.

    Next, there’s humility, which involves refraining from passing judgment on your conversation partner’s experiences. Remember that you don’t have all the answers, and reassure your partner that she’s free to share everything – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    Finally, there’s curiosity. Curiosity means being open to what your partner has to say, even if it’s not a topic toward which you’re naturally inclined. Find something that interests you in whatever your partner has to say, and you’ll open the door to a conversation that satisfies everyone.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Listen Like You Mean It?

    Key ideas in Listen Like You Mean It

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Listen Like You Mean It about?

    Listen Like You Mean It (2021) is a friendly, comprehensive guide to deepening relationships through the power of listening. Too often, our conversations with family, friends, and coworkers remain superficial – we talk past each other, refrain from showing vulnerability, or get caught in a tangle of misunderstanding. With tips and scripts taken from the author’s experience as a user researcher, we can improve our listening skills and, in doing so, be heard and understood ourselves.

    Listen Like You Mean It Review

    Listen Like You Mean It (2021) by Ximena Vengoechea is a thought-provoking book that provides valuable insights into the art of active listening and its impact on our personal and professional relationships. Here's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • With its practical techniques and exercises, it empowers readers to improve their communication skills and deepen their connections with others.
    • By sharing compelling stories and research findings, the book highlights the importance of empathy and understanding in effective listening, making it both informative and relatable.
    • The author's engaging writing style, combined with actionable advice, creates an enjoyable reading experience that keeps you hooked from start to finish.

    Who should read Listen Like You Mean It?

    • Professionals who want to improve their workplace communication skills
    • The socially awkward
    • Anyone seeking more connection and understanding

    About the Author

    Ximena Vengoechea is a San Francisco–based user researcher who has worked at various tech-focused companies including Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter. She is also a writer and illustrator whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, Newsweek, the Huffington Post, and Inc. Listen Like You Mean It is her first book.

    Categories with Listen Like You Mean It

    Book summaries like Listen Like You Mean It

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    32 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Listen Like You Mean It FAQs 

    What is the main message of Listen Like You Mean It?

    The main message of Listen Like You Mean It is the power of effective communication through active listening.

    How long does it take to read Listen Like You Mean It?

    The reading time for Listen Like You Mean It varies depending on the reader. But the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Listen Like You Mean It a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Listen Like You Mean It is a valuable read for anyone seeking to improve their communication skills. It provides practical insights and techniques in a concise format.

    Who is the author of Listen Like You Mean It?

    The author of Listen Like You Mean It is Ximena Vengoechea.

    What to read after Listen Like You Mean It?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Listen Like You Mean It, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Just Listen by Mark Goulston
    • You're Not Listening by Kate Murphy
    • Powers of Two by Joshua Wolf Shenk
    • How to be Heard by Julian Treasure
    • Cues by Vanessa Van Edwards
    • The Idea Is the Easy Part by Brian Dovey
    • Atomic Habits by James Clear
    • Influence by Robert B. Cialdini
    • How to Tell a Story by The Moth
    • Speed Reading by Kam Knight