For just a minute, picture that you’re working as a salesperson. Now picture that you have a call scheduled today with a really valuable client. Numerous reps from their offices have come together to discuss whether to hire your business for the job. All of the various voices get a little jumbled and hard to understand. But you’re fairly sure you got the gist of it.
Cranking the speaker up just makes it sound more distorted. So you simply do your best, interpreting what’s being said the best you can. You’ve become fairly good at that.
As you listen, the voices sound particularly muffled for about a minute. Then suddenly you hear, “so what can your company do to help us with this”?”
You freeze. You have no idea what their company’s issue is because you didn’t hear the last portion of the discussion. This is your deal and your boss is depending on you. What can you do?
Should you admit you didn’t hear them and ask them to repeat what they said? They’ll think you were distracted. Do you start using a lot of sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.
Individuals go through situations like this every day when they are at work. They attempt to read between the lines and cope.
But how is neglected hearing loss really affecting your work as a whole? The following can help us find out.
A representative sampling of 80,000 people was collected 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.
That doesn’t seem fair!
We could dig deep to attempt to find out what the cause is, but as the illustration above demonstrates, hearing loss can affect your overall performance. Unfortunately, he didn’t close the deal. Everything was going excellently until the client thought he wasn’t paying attention 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 how do you think this affected his career? How may things have been different if he were using his hearing aids?
Injuries on the job
People who have neglected hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to sustain a significant on-the-job injury according to a study carried out by the American Medical Association. Studies also show a 300% increased risk of having a significant fall and ending up in the emergency room.
And people with only slight hearing loss were at the greatest risk, surprisingly! Perhaps they don’t grasp that hearing loss of any kind impairs an individual at work.
Even if you have hearing loss, you can still be successful at work
Your employer has a lot to gain from you:
These positive attributes shouldn’t be dominated by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor. It could be having an effect on your job more than you know. Take steps to minimize the impact like:
- Speak up when a task surpasses your abilities. For instance, your boss might want you to cover for somebody who works in a noisy area. Offer to do something else to make up for it. This way, it will never seem as if you’re not doing your part.
- Know that you aren’t required to divulge that you have hearing loss during an interview. And the interviewer may not ask. However, you may need to consider if your neglected hearing loss will affect your ability to interview well. You will most likely need to inform the interviewer of your condition if that’s the case.
- In order to have it in writing, it’s a good idea to draft up a respectful accommodations letter for your boss.
- Use your hearing aids at work every day, all 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 straight into your ear and not through background noise. You will need hearing aids that are compatible with this technology to use one.
- Keep a brightly lit work space. Seeing lips can help you follow along even if you’re not a lip reader.
- When you’re talking to people, make sure you face them. Try to keep phone calls to a minimum.
- Before a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and overview. Conversations will be easier to keep up with.
Working with hearing loss
Even if you have slight hearing loss, it can still effect your work performance. But having it treated will frequently eliminate any obstacles you face with neglected hearing impairment. We can help so call us!