CNLP 432: Ximena Vengoechea on What She Learned About the User Experience at LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest, and the Power of Listening Like You Mean It

Ximena Vengoechea has been a user researcher at Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

She talks about how listening to clients and customers before you launch a product can lead to greater success, how to listen to customers, and what feedback to pay attention to and what to discard.

Welcome to Episode 432 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Plus, in this episode’s What I’m Thinking About segment, Carey talks about keys to becoming a better listener.

Guest Links

Instagram  | Twitter | LinkedInWebsite

Episode Links


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Insights From Ximena

1. It’s better to do research before you launch rather than during or after your launch

As a user researcher for some of the world’s top social media platforms, Ximena has spent her career studying people’s behavior and applying those lessons to products.

Often, people think of doing consumer research after you’ve launched a new product or feature in order to find out how to market their product.  Ximena has found that it’s most valuable to do deep consumer research before you launch a product. Then, you learn what the market is actually looking for in a product.

2. Interrupting people costs you more than you think

One of the most common missteps people make in conversation is interrupting each other. Perhaps the biggest unseen cost of interrupting the person you’re talking to is that you will likely never hear what they were going to say. Ximena proposes that hearing what was about to be said could have been way more valuable than whatever you interrupted them to say.

3. Silence is often a good thing in conversation

Too often, we get anxious when there’s silence in a conversation, whether it’s a business or a personal discussion. You may be thinking that the other person is bored with you or that the two of you just aren’t compatible, but that isn’t always true. Ximena points out that silence can be a great opportunity for you to collect your thoughts and carefully respond to something the other person said. Sometimes the insight that silence offers contributes more to a conversation than words.

Quotes from Episode 432

We often think that we're listening when we're not. @xsvengoechea Click To Tweet Often what happens is, at the edge of silence, there's an insight. @xsvengoechea Click To Tweet Instead of really deeply listening, we are at the same time winding up a response. We are listening to our own inner monologue as opposed to what the other person is saying. @xsvengoechea Click To Tweet The big problem with interrupting is that you lose out on what the other person was going to say. @xsvengoechea Click To Tweet Think about, ‘What can I glean through observation rather than interrupting?’ @xsvengoechea Click To Tweet Silence doesn't have to have that sort of negative connotation. In fact, there's a lot of good that comes from silence, which is that you give people the space to process, to think, to gear up for sharing something. @xsvengoechea Click To Tweet Micro moments of rest can help you get through those periods and help you be more effective in the moment. @xsvengoechea Click To Tweet We're all in a culture where very few people feel heard. Click To Tweet Building self-awareness about yourself as a listener, and what stops you from listening, that's worth paying attention to, and that's really step one for starting to reclaim and rebuild. @xsvengoechea Click To Tweet There are tactical things that you can do to improve your listening skills. @xsvengoechea Click To Tweet If you want to be a better listener is you have to get comfortable with silence. Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 432

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Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

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Next Episode: Alan George

From 2010-2020, Alan George led church online for Life.Church and saw it grow to one of the largest online churches in the world.

Alan shares his top insights about church online, why it can be relational, how to grow your digital team, and what metrics to watch and which to ignore.

Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 433.

CNLP 432: Ximena Vengoechea on What She Learned About the User Experience at LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest, and the Power of Listening Like You Mean It


  1. Maria on August 25, 2021 at 6:20 am

    Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here. It has an empty page.


    • Carey Nieuwhof on August 25, 2021 at 9:21 am

      Hi Maria, Lauren here from Carey’s team. I’m so sorry about that! I’ve re-added the transcript and checked that it is loading properly. Would you mind giving it another look to see if it’s there for you now? Thanks so much.

  2. Heather Hall on July 29, 2021 at 1:47 pm

    Hi, this link doesn’t appear to be working. (Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.) The page comes up but it is blank.

    thanks Heather

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