Aki Salmi

Software Crafter, Communication Trainer

Empathy at work – using the alchemy of empathy to improve teamwork.

In this talk, I’ll talk you through on how arguments and conflicts, that have mostly destructive power, can be transformed into curiosity-driven conflicts. Curiosity being one key ingredient of empathy – really trying to understand other people’s viewpoints and their needs behind.

5 Key Learnings:

– what does it mean to ‘listen to respond’

– what does it mean to ‘listen to understand’

– what does it mean to ‘listen to connect’

– how to identify (own) strong opinions and

– how to seek understanding when having strong opinions


I used to be involved in quite a few arguments at work. About from how we do stuff (let it be scrum or TDD), to how we could improve (at least from my point of view) and all the way to how to design certain code architecture. Not always did I win. Not always did I lose. Not always was I happy about the discussion I was having with other people. Not always other people were pleased, either. All these had one common denominator – one thing that was in common. It was me. I was in all the arguments and conflicts I was part of. After realising that, and learning more effective ways to communicate, I have found myself not having any more heated discussions. No more heated arguments, no more winning / losing.  Instead, I think of conflicts as it gives me an opportunity to learn what others’ are thinking – a tool to support my curiosity.

In this talk, I will talk you through empathy, listening and effective communication. I will talk about my story – how I changed and how I chose to behave in more effective manner, as team player. The talk (and my life) is heavily influenced by the work of Thomas Gordon (Parent Effectiveness Training) and Marshall Rosenberg (Nonviolent Communication).

The talk will also be very interactive where the listeners become participants and who’ll get a chance to practice the learnings during the talk. We’ll learn that conflicts are good. Different ways of thinking are good. We’ll also learn how to talk about different opinions / views in a constructive way – without destructive power so often seen at work.




Aki does not believe in magic, he makes it happen. In all his professions, which are many; Hiking Guide, Communication Trainer, Software Crafter.

Aki started as developer in test and later has worked as Scrum Master and software crafter. While doing the techy side of work, Aki is test-driving the code – already since 2006. While being with people, Aki is well known for his listening skills giving the greatest gift he can give – feeling of being listened to.

Professionally, he travels all around Europe to speak, to share and to learn with crafters on what the community has learned. Also, Aki organises conference(s) himself, like CodeFreeze.

Meet a man who is living his dream.



For more information about the conference or partnership opportunities please contact

Joanna Moćko-Łazarewicz:
mail: joanna@itmatters.pl
phone: +48 534 966 689

Connecting the dots
Joanna Moćko-Łazarewicz
Wiosenna 53, 43100 Tychy, Poland
NIP: PL6462560788
REGON: 383084690

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