Just picture for a minute you’re a salesperson. Today, you’re having a very important call with a possible client. Numerous reps from their offices have gathered to discuss whether to hire your company for the job. All of the different voices get a bit muddled and difficult to understand. But you’re getting most of it.
Turning up the speaker just makes it sound more distorted. So you simply do your best, reading between the lines. You’re quite good at that.
There comes a point in the discussion where things get particularly difficult to hear. Then all of a sudden you hear, “so what can your company do to help us with this”?”
You freeze. You didn’t catch the last few minutes and aren’t sure what issue they’re attempting to resolve. Your boss is depending on you to seal this deal. What can you do?
Do you request they repeat themselves? They’ll think you were distracted. What about resorting to some slick sales jargon? No, that will be too conspicuous.
People go through scenarios like this every day when they are at work. They attempt to read between the lines and get by.
But how is untreated hearing loss actually affecting your work in general? The following will help us find out.
A representative sampling of 80,000 people was obtained by The Better Hearing Institute utilizing the same approach that the Census Bureau uses.
They found that people who have neglected hearing loss make about $12,000 less per year than people who are able to hear.
That doesn’t seem fair!
Hearing loss effects your general performance so it isn’t hard to understand the above example. The deal couldn’t be closed, sadly. Everything was going very well until the client thought he wasn’t listening to them. They decided to go with a company that listens better.
He missed out on a commission of $1000.
It was just a misunderstanding. But that doesn’t change the impact on his career. How may things have been different if he were wearing his hearing aids?
Injuries on the job
A study reported in the Journal of The American Medical Association discovered that individuals with neglected hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to have a serious work accident. And, your chance of ending up in the emergency room after a serious fall increases by 300% according to other research.
And individuals with only minor hearing loss were at the highest risk, surprisingly! Perhaps, their hearing loss is mild enough that they’re not even aware of it.
How to have a successful career with hearing loss
You have so much to offer an employer:
Hearing loss shouldn’t overshadow these. But it is often a factor. You might not even recognize how great an impact on your job it’s having. Here are a few ways to lessen that impact:
- Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. 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.
- Look directly at people when you’re conversing with them. Try to keep phone calls to a minimum.
- Keep a well lit work area. Even if you don’t read lips, looking directly at them can help you discern what’s being said.
- If a job is going to be beyond your capability you need to speak up. Your boss may, for example, ask you to go and do some work in an area of the building that can be really loud. Offer to do something else to make up for it. This way, it will never seem like you aren’t doing your part.
- Requesting a written overview/agenda before attending a meeting. Conversations will be easier to keep up with.
- Use your hearing aids while your working every day, at all times. When you do this, many of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
- Be aware that you aren’t required to reveal that you have hearing loss when you’re interviewing. And the interviewer can’t ask. But the other side is whether your hearing loss will have an impact on your ability to have a successful interview. In that case, you may choose to divulge this before the interview.
- Write a respectful accommodations letter to your boss. This way, you have it in writing.
Hearing loss at work
Even if you have slight hearing loss, it can still effect your work performance. But many of the obstacles that neglected hearing loss can create will be resolved by having it treated. We can help so give us a call!