Most people want to make more friends, be heard, and feel deeply understood. Yet more often than not, we miss the mark.

In most conversations with friends, colleagues, and partners, miscommunication can happen very easily. I’m sure you’ve left a conversation thinking to yourself,

“They just don’t get what I mean,” or

“I don’t think they understand how complicated this is.”

In today’s episode, Sarah digs into the experience of miscommunication and unpacks the need for space for true, deep listening in both our personal and professional conversations.

Deep listening allows space for real connection, true empathy, and a more beautifully nuanced understanding of one another.

Yet more often than not, we all try to offer advice or “fix” a problem for our friends without sitting and listening—without judgment or agenda.

The truth is, most of us really just want a safe space and a friendly ear to empathize and process with us.

When we listen fully, without interjecting our own opinions and experiences, the conversation—and the connection—changes. We can make more friends, and even design better businesses, if we slow down and spend time in the space of understanding.

This means: without interjection our own opinions or experiences, or asserting a best possible outcome or viewpoint.

Today we’re talking about how deep listening and thoughtful questioning lend themselves to much more open, nuanced, thoughtful conversations and relationships.

Sarah is going to share the incredibly simple and astonishingly powerful tool she uses in her personal and professional life to connect more deeply with people, to grow her business, and to be of the deepest service to her clients, friends, and mastermind groups.

  • How we tend to believe we know what’s best for others based on our own experiences, information, and desires.
  • How quickly we lose sight of the true goal of conversation—connection—and instead move into problem solving, telling our own stories, or moving on to the next point.
  • Sarah’s experience in her second birth of hiring and then ultimately choosing not to work with a doula who, rather than listening to Sarah and Alex’s preferences and desires, attempted to “educate” them into choosing a different path.
  • The delicate and crucial difference between presenting useful information so someone can make a thoughtful decision for themselves and believing that someone “ought” to choose a specific choice due to the information you have.
  • The profound power of a woman’s birth story and her decision to experience a pain-free birth.
  • Why we strive at Startup Pregnant to present a wide range of experiences of pregnancy, parenthood, and work and why we always begin those stories with “in my experience.”
  • The not-so-secret reason that coaching and therapy are so highly in need in our current culture.
  • The super simple, incredibly effective tool Sarah uses in her life, masterminds, and with her corporate clients to build relationships and close deals.

The Startup Pregnant Podcast Episode #122

  • “It’s this subtle texture, the subtle distinction where we can bring lots of information and ideas and resources to someone and say, ‘Hey, have you considered all of these things?’ But to go so far as to say, ‘And therefore this is what you should do’—it’s a huge leap past education and awareness and empathy and understanding.”
  • “The real work is to listen fully and completely hear the entire story, because what somebody else comes with is not our story. It’s their story and their choices.”
  • “We think we know what’s best for another person, and we say, ‘Well, if only they had enough information or they had the right tools, then they would make this choice. Obviously, they would make this choice.’”
  • “It’s one of the best ways that I’ve found to develop more empathy and more understanding and to arrive at a place where we can have better conversations.”
  • “When it comes to motherhood and parenting in particular, we start to pose different ideas as two opposite religions. It’s like either you’re in the breast feeding camp or you’re in the formula camp. We forget that there are so many different stories of motherhood and so many different experiences of life. There aren’t two camps. There are 157,000 camps, and there’s a lot of shades of gray in between.”

We are launching the first course in our Startup Pregnant School, The Art of Asking. It’s all about asking for what you want and getting more of it. You can find it at or go to to see what we are building. If you struggle with asking or you want to become a better negotiator, either in your business life or in your personal life or both, go check it out.


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