Active listening – this one technique is absolutely crucial to your success as a freelancer. Learn what Active Listening is and how to apply it in this podcast episode
All right, everybody. Thank you for joining me. I am Mike Vulcan. And this is Freelancer school brought to you by Freelancer masterclass, today, sponsor is covert kover.ai. Go ahead and check them out, you get big corporate benefits for freelancers, such as pay time off sick leave legal help, all that great stuff. So go ahead and check them email@example.com. Today we’re going to be talking about the number one thing you really need every Freelancer needs. To be a great freelancer, I’ve never met a freelancer who is really great, that doesn’t have this skill, and that skill is active listening. That’s right.
Listening is a super important skill, actually, I would call it a critical skill to be an excellent freelancer. And what you may think is an easy topic is actually not so let me explain there are actually five different things that we can do to be better listeners. So let’s go ahead and go through them. Number one is pay attention. A lot of times when you’re meeting virtually, with a prospect or even a client, you have the ability to click around your computer to get distracted on something else in your office. And it’s really hard to pay attention in some cases. Sometimes, if you have Slack, or email those notifications are showing up in your screen, you’re going to miss something important that the person you’re talking to says. So first of all, pay attention. Get your phone out of your room, if you’re using the internet to talk to your client, or prospect, turn off any notifications, or just be active in the fact that you are in a conversation with someone who is paying you or will want to pay you and that notifications need to be disabled. If you’re in the room with this person, just look at the speaker directly put aside any distracting thoughts and don’t mentally prepare rebuttal, you know, just listen to what they’re saying. So number one is pay attention. Number two is show them that you’re listening. So use your own body language and gestures to show that you are engaged. I call this a belly button technique. And actually Bill Clinton had is known for I guess his term had been around since about I don’t know if he invented it, but it’s been around since about he became, quote unquote famous is that he would always be facing the person, the belly button would always be facing the belly button of the person he’s talking to. So that shows that you’re listening. So you want to use your own body language and gestures to show that you’re engaged, engage. So you’re not occasionally right. So when I’m giving talks on stage, I can see that some people are paying attention, because they’re looking at me and nodding, right? You want to smile and use other facial expressions, you want to make sure that your posture is open and it’s interested. So you’re, you’re not facing in another direction or even to the side. And then you want to encourage the speaker to continue with small verbal cues like Yep, yep. Right? Those kind of things, right. So number one is pay attention. Number two is show that you’re listening. Number three is to provide feedback, our personal filters, our assumptions, our judgments, and beliefs can distort what we hear. So as an active listener, your role is to understand what is being said, Now that might require you to reflect on what is being said to ask questions, you might reflect on what has been said by paraphrasing. What I’m hearing is or sounds like you are saying is great ways to reflect feedback. So what you want to do is summarize the speaker’s comments periodically. Alright.
Number four, is to defer judgment. So interrupting is a waste of time. Okay, it frustrates the speaker. It limits the full understanding of what the speaker was about to say. Right. So allow the speaker to finish each point before asking questions. And don’t interrupt with counter arguments you want to and this is very common in political debates, right? So you get two people on stage once a democrat once Republican, Democrat starts speaking and the republican starts interrupting before the speaker even gets the democratic gets to finish and vice versa. That’s why it’s really frustrating. And a lot of people don’t watch political arguments is because the argument actually never gets made because it’s just two people tripping over each other. So you always want to defer judgment and just don’t interrupt, just wait to the person finishes. Okay. And then the fifth, let me just summarize one through four. Number one, paying attention number two, show that you’re listening. Number three, provide feedback, number four, defer judgment, and number five, respond appropriately. So active listening is designed to encourage respect and understanding. Alright, so if you encourage respect, you’ll get it in return. You
Gaining information perspective, okay? You add nothing by attacking the speaker, speaker or otherwise putting that person down. So be candid, be open and honest in your response. Okay, so don’t pander. So a lot of times clients will say, hey, do you think this is a good direction to take my company? I’ll be like, nope. So I don’t pander. Yeah, it’s great way you should set up a $20,000 ad campaign. I mean, that’s pandering, right? So be candid, be open and honest. In your response, okay, you’ll gain respect for that. assert your opinions, respectfully back them up with facts and solid opinions, and treat the other person in a way that you think that they would want to be treated. That’s called the Golden Rule rule. That’s so so important. So there’s five components of being an active listener, paying attention, show that you’re listening, provide feedback, defer judgment, and respond appropriately. Guys, do not gloss over this. Take each one of these, practice them one at a time, and I guarantee you without doing anything else without getting more prospects or getting more clients. This will increase your conversions and will also increase your value so you can charge Okay.