Listen to Monkey:
An Active Listening Workshop where You can Be Heard and Grow Your Emotional Intelligence

Why and how you need to address your loneliness now

Loneliness is as bad as 15 cigarettes a day for health

It increases the risk of depression, cardiovascular disease and even dementia.

Source: Public Health

We need lifestyle and behavioural change to prevent these long term health consequences of feeling lonely.

Pandemic fatigue is real

The World Health Organization and leading healthcare systems acknowledge that Pandemic Fatigue and Quarantine Fatigue need to be actively addressed.

Source: Cleveland Clinic, Mass General and Kaiser Permanente

Pandemic Fatigue is a mixed bag of symptoms us each differently. You need to focus your attention on how feeling lonely is affecting you most.

Social distancing and remote working are here for the long haul

Even with vaccines, public health measures take time to have their full impact.

Source: McKinsey & Company

When we do get things under control, there will likely be an new normal that involves remote work.

We need to listen to each other

Social media, despite its many benefits, continues to divide us. It leaves us feeling lonely leading to anxiety and depression.

Source: PLoS One

In order to feel connected during a pandemic which has us feeling lonelier than ever, we have to learn to listen and empathise again. This TED talk summarises why perfectly:

Who is this for?

If you have been feeling the mental and/or physical effects of Pandemic Fatigue, please stick around.

If you have been constantly stressed and it’s making you ill, you are in the right place.

If you are feeling more lonely than ever, then keep on reading.

If you struggle to be vulnerable and connect with others, this is for you.

If you find it difficult to slow down and need instant gratification, please stick around.

If you are unable to appreciate yourself and feel unworthy, you are in the right place.

If you have a hard time being authentic and empathising with others, then keep on reading.

Here’s the truth

You can try to muddle along with your loneliness until the pandemic is over.

However, the effects on your health may already be huge by then because no matter how quickly we get a vaccine, it is going to take at least a year or two before things go back to normal.

Listen to Monkey is the ONLY FREE workshop dedicated to building communication skills and empathy.

Our Story

Before we get into the steps and how-tos, here is a quick background on who we are and why we started Hippocrates Lounge, for credibility reasons.


Dilraj [right] is a Doctor, Academic and Entrepreneur. He trained at the University of Oxford, the top medical school in the world, where he continues to publish with colleagues about Patient Empowerment. He is a Lecturer in Digital Health at the University of Warwick and uses Lifestyle Medicine to help patients reverse disease in his online clinic Hippocrates Lounge. Shocked that 80% of health outcomes are due to health behaviors, socioeconomic background and physical environment, Dilraj is focused on Health at Work. Time and again, he has found that wellbeing programs lack the outcome metrics expected in the medical and business worlds. Using lifestyle, behavioral and digital health, he is ushering in a new era of Preventative Health Care.

Sukh [left] has donned hats as a Management Consultant, Digital Product Manager and Peak Performance Coach. Educated at the University of Oxford, he thrives in fiercely competitive environments where performance is vital. He has repeatedly observed that individuals and organizations seek performance at the expense of health. This adversarial perspective is short-termist, focused on hours worked rather than effectiveness and leads to burnout. Tracking his own mental, physical and emotional state, he developed habits which enable him to operate at his peak without sacrificing wellbeing. His core philosophy is that cultivating positive habits aligns health, happiness and performance.

The 3 steps to Grow Your Emotional Intelligence

Communication is broken. Real communication is about real listening and authentic talking. To truly connect and stop feeling lonely, we need to ask ourselves if we are really listening and if we are being authentic.

1. Ask yourself if you are really listening

You are not listening when…

  • You are thinking about something else
  • You are thinking about yourself or your problems
  • You are waiting for your opportunity to speak
  • You are waiting to give advice
  • You are waiting for the conversation to end
  • You are keeping an eye on the time
  • You are judging the thoughts you are hearing
  • You are judging the other person

2. Ask yourself if you are being authentic

You are not being authentic when…

  • You are censoring yourself
  • You are judging the thoughts and feelings that emerge
  • You feel unable to express how you feel
  • You are selecting words in order to influence how the other person perceives you
  • You feel compelled to play a role/character (for someone, for a group of people)
  • You feel as though you are intruding or burdening other people
  • You feel guilty for expressing yourself
  • You feel that you need a mask to protect yourself
  • You left a conversation thinking “I wish I didn’t say that” or “I wish I said that”

3. Practice listening and talking

Do the work…

  • Practice listening, consciously and regularly
  • Practice talking, consciously and regularly

These are skills and habits that need to be developed and atrophy when not practiced regularly.

An essential component of the solution is a safe space in order to practice.

What makes a space safe?
Defining an intention with through guidelines and setting expectations

All you need to do is

(1) Ask yourself if you are really listening

(2) Ask yourself if you are being authentic;

(3) Practice listening and talking

Again, this is for people struggling with feeling lonely who want to be heard, are willing to listen and want to grow their Emotional Intelligence

What is Listen to Monkey?

A community of listeners engaged in active listening and authentic communication workshops

1. Watch the Active Listening & Authentic Talking video course

We have prepared a video course on Active Listening and Authentic Talking. Watch these before the workshop.

2. Join the Listen to Monkey workshop

Join us for a 1.5 hour workshop on Zoom. We kick off with 15 minutes to ground ourselves and de-stress, ready to listen to one another.

3. Listen for 30 minutes

We then pair off and practice our Active Listening skills for 30 minutes. Stop waiting for your opportunity to speak and practice non-judgement

4. Talk for 30 minutes

Then you can talk for 30 minutes. You can practice being heard, give yourself the space to express yourself freely and can talk without censorship or judgment.

5. Wind-down

Having let your monkey mind get everything out of your system, leaving you feeling clear, we spend our last 15 minutes wrapping up and sharing feedback.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I invite people?

We’re all feeling lonely right now and could do with a chat.
People need this for themselves - you know someone who needs this.
People need this to be better for other people - you know someone who needs to work on themselves.

How does it work? What happens at a session?

Real communication = active listening + authentic talking
Video course on active listening + authentic talking -> watch these before showing up
1.5 hour session via Zoom
15mins grounding
Active listening -> Practice listening skills / Listen for 30mins
Stop waiting for your opportunity to speak
Practice non-judgement
Authentic talking -> Practice being heard / Talk for 30mins
Practice allowingness over resistance
Give yourself the space to express yourself freely
Able to talk without censorship/judgment
No need to play a role/character for someone else
No guilt/intrusion on the other person
No mask required to protect yourself
Let monkey mind get everything out of your system
Leave feeling “empty”, “nothingness” and clear
15mins feedback & wrap-up

Is it safe?

Everyone must agree to terms
Violators will be removed
Do not give out your personal identifiable information - do so only at your own risk
All participants must give valid contact information

Why is it free?

We believe that everyone needs this right now
Money should not be a barrier
Donations are welcome - helps us continue to offer this and scale up
Future: Volunteers - if you can spare time to help us with administrative tasks, let us know

Why should I sharpen my listening skills?

All of your relationships are a product of your ability to communicate. I.e. your ability to understand the other person’s perspective and your ability to help them understand your perspective.

Why should I talk to a stranger?

Sometimes it’s easier to speak to a stranger than people you already know. People you already know listen to you with a preconception in mind -> they do not listen in an unbiased way. You care about their perception of you -> you do not express yourself authentically.
Speaking with a stranger allows you to be heard with fewer preconceptions and express yourself more authentically. There might still be bias and distorted authenticity but this is the right environment to work on peeling back the layers, i.e. practice noticing and questioning your own biases and practice expressing your thoughts and feeling honestly.

What is it not?

A replacement for therapy
A suitable forum for children