Founder and Lead Trainer
Growing up, in spite of my interest in psychology, I was not really able to convince myself that it was a field that I could pursue. Peer pressure and societal norms dictated that I should take up tried and tested career paths of Science and try to be a “productive member” of the society. Psychology seemed more of a passion project than a field that could bring professional satisfaction. However, my curious nature ensured that this passion project never quite got sidelined. Very early on I realised how truly effective just listening to someone can be and got the benefit of it because I got to see a different side of people and see just how complex, beautiful and enigmatic a human being is, if only we care to listen.
In 2007, I had the opportunity to pursue Masters in hospitality management in the UK. Moving away from the busy and hectic Mumbai to the relatively relaxed London provided a sense of personal space and time that helped me pursue my first love. Searching for the term ‘listening’ on Google serendipitously got me across the website of Samaritans UK. Samaritans has been foundational in understanding truly what empathic listening is and how much of an important life skill it is for a person to have.
The more I ran away from psychology, the more it ran towards me. I have been associated with emotional support helplines and suicide hotlines for over 13 years of which seven years have been as a trainer in the area of active listening, empathy building and bias unlearning. Through these years of training, researching and interacting with hundreds of people, I got to see one major challenge in this area. Though the majority of the people almost have an innate understanding of what good or empathic listening is, it is however very difficult for many of them to apply this knowledge in real-world scenarios. It is this gap that has really been a catalyst in the founding of The Connect Hut.