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Are You Listening? The Fascinating Truth Behind The Belief Systems That Drive Us

By Jacqueline Frost with Nicky Perfect

In the latest episode of Finding Your EPIC, host Jacqueline Frost sits down with Nicky Perfect , former hostage negotiator turned successful communication coach. They discuss what true communication actually looks like, the importance of reflection, and why we should practise personal responsibility. 

For the full conversation, Finding Your EPIC  is available here

It’s all about us

“Nobody understands me.” 

These are the words Nicky Perfect heard from a young girl, standing on the edge of a building.

Nicky: “Her belief system that nobody cared for her was so powerful that she was considering whether she should live or die.”

As Nicky told this story on Episode 5 of Finding Your EPIC, I couldn’t help but think about how I might react in that situation. Nicky, describing herself back then as a “Very naive and young negotiator”, immediately told the young girl that she was cared about.

“Yes,” I thought, listening to Nicky. “I’d do the same. That seems like a reasonable response.”

But as Nicky goes on to explain, this response came from her own personal beliefs. Nicky, being close to her family and having good relationships, believes that everybody in the world is cared for. The young girl, however, did not.

Nicky’s statement that she cared about the young girl directly challenged beliefs the young girl held to be true. “You can’t care about me,” the young girl said. “Who are you? I don’t even know you.”

Nicky realised she was right. 

She realised she had no right to challenge this young girl’s belief system. 

She realised the young girl was on top of the building for a reason.

Nicky: “That’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned in negotiation and communication: it’s all about us. It’s all about what we believe to be true.” 

The power of communication

Nicky: “I learned that most of us don’t listen. When we think about it, when was the last time you were ‘given a really good listening to’? When the person was just there with you, with no judgement?”

When Nicky asked this question on the Finding Your EPIC podcast, I was a little taken aback. I realised: she’s right. Most of us don’t listen.

Listening is a crucial leadership skill and one that we focus on extensively at Elevate Talent. But what does good listening really look like?

There is truly no one better equipped to walk us through it than Nicky Perfect.


Listen to the full discussion with Nicky here. For more on Nicky, visit her on LinkedIn, at her website or find her thrilling memoir on Amazon.

Finding Your EPIC releases new episodes weekly here. More on Elevate Talent and Jacqueline Frost can be found here.