For just a second, imagine that you’re working as a salesperson. Now picture that you have a call scheduled today with a really important client. Numerous reps from their offices have come together to talk about whether to hire your company for the job. As the call continues, voices go up and down…and are sometimes difficult to hear. But you’re getting most of it.
Turning up the speaker just makes it sound more distorted. So you just do your best at filling in the blanks. You’ve become pretty good at that.
As you try to listen, the voices sound specifically muffled for around a minute. Then all of a sudden you hear, “so what can your company do to assist us with this”?”
You panic. You didn’t catch the last few minutes and aren’t sure what issue they’re attempting to solve. This is your contract and your boss is depending on you. So now what?
Should you admit you didn’t hear them and ask them to repeat what they said? They might think you weren’t paying attention. Do you start using a lot of sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.
People go through scenarios like this every day when they are at work. They attempt to read between the lines and cope.
So in general, how is your work being affected by your hearing loss? The following will help us find out.
A representative sampling of 80,000 people was obtained by The Better Hearing Institute utilizing the same method that the Census Bureau uses.
People who have disregarded hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.
Hey, that isn’t fair!
We could dig deep to try to find out what the cause is, but as the example above shows, hearing loss can affect your overall performance. Sadly, he didn’t close the deal. Everything was going very well until the client thought he wasn’t paying attention to them. They decided to go with a company that listens better.
He lost out on a $1000 commission.
It was just a misunderstanding. But that doesn’t change the effect on his career. If he was wearing hearing aids, imagine how different things might have been.
Injuries on the job
A study revealed in the Journal of The American Medical Association found that people with neglected hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to suffer a serious work accident. And, your risk of ending up in the emergency room after a serious fall goes up by 300% according to other research.
And people with only slight hearing loss were at the highest risk, unexpectedly! Maybe they don’t grasp that hearing loss of any type impairs an individual at work.
Even if you have hearing loss, you can still be successful at work
Your employer has a great deal to gain from you:
These positive qualities shouldn’t be overshadowed by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a factor. You may not even know how huge an effect on your job it’s having. Take steps to lessen the impact like:
- Before a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and overview. Conversations will be easier to keep up with.
- Understand that when you’re interviewing, you’re not required to reveal that you have hearing loss. And the interviewer can’t ask. However, you might need to consider if your neglected hearing loss will impact your ability to have a successful interview. You will probably need to inform the interviewer of your condition if that’s the situation.
- Keep a well lit work area. Seeing lips can help you follow along even if you don’t read lips.
- Never neglect using your hearing aids while you’re working and all of the rest of the time. When you do this, lots of of the accommodations won’t be necessary.
- Request a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound goes directly into your ear instead of through background noise. You will require hearing aids that are compatible with this technology to use one.
- If a job is going to surpass your capability you need to speak up. Your boss might, for instance, ask you to go and do some work in a part of the building that can be really loud. So that you can make up for it, offer to take on a different task. In this way, it will never seem like you’re not doing your part.
- Write a respectful accommodations letter to your boss. This way, you have it in writing.
- Look directly at people when you’re talking to them. Try not to talk on the phone as much as possible.
Working with hearing loss
Hearing loss can effect your work, even if it’s mild. But having it treated will often eliminate any obstacles you face with untreated hearing impairment. We can help so call us!