Do You Speak Jackal Or Giraffe? Designing Sustainable Relationships

Whitney Hess

Join this interactive session and discover the Empathy First method for peaceful teams. Whitney Hess, User Experience Coach, will show you how to apply Nonviolent Communication to everyday work conflicts we all experience. Find out if you’re stuck in judgments and blame getting in the way of effective collaboration, and learn how to create better relationships with clients, colleagues, and yourself.

Emphasis will be on practical ways to give and receive empathy, and simple techniques that help us take responsibility for our own feelings and needs. All attendees will receive free handouts tailor-made for this audience.

Come to this session with prepared questions about the causes of conflict in the workplace. You can ask her anything! She will also share many of her own personal experiences and insights to guide and inspire you.


  • Exposure to the basics of Nonviolent Communication
  • An understanding of how judgments, criticism and blame cause conflict and hurt productivity
  • Clarity on why practicing empathy is important to effective teamwork
  • A simple technique anyone can use to practice empathy for ourselves and others
  • The desire to keep practicing, and an awareness of where to continue this learning


Whitney Hess is a coach, writer and speaker helping people bring their whole selves to their work. As a result, they better serve their customers, their companies, their communities and themselves. Her life’s mission is to put humanity back into business.

Over a decade in User Experience, Whitney has coached hundreds of companies on how to make their products easier and more pleasurable to use, boost the bottom line, and do work they love. With leadership coaching for new managers, career mapping for dissatisfied practitioners, and UX training for web professionals and product teams, Whitney’s techniques eliminate haphazard decision-making, methodically prioritize efforts, and measurably improve team dynamics.

Whitney is the co-host the podcast Designing Yourself, writes on her blog Pleasure & Pain, and speaks at conferences and corporations worldwide. She holds a Masters in Human-Computer Interaction and a Bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing and HCI from Carnegie Mellon University, and in 2014 became a certified coach through New Ventures West. She and her sailor-chef Fredrick live aboard s/v Jenny, their 1980 Endeavour 37′ sloop, currently docked in San Diego, CA.