For just a moment, picture that you have a job as a salesperson. Now picture that you have a call scheduled today with a very important client. Multiple representatives from their offices have come together to discuss whether to hire your business for the job. All of the different voices get a bit jumbled and hard to comprehend. But you’re hearing most of it.
Turning the speaker up just makes it sound more distorted. So you just do your best at filling in the blanks. You’ve become pretty good at that.
There comes a point in the conversation where things get particularly hard to hear. This is the point where the potential client asks “so precisely how will your company help us solve this?””
You freeze. You have no idea what their company’s issue is because you didn’t hear the last portion of the conversation. This is your contract and your boss is counting on you. So now what?
Do you request they repeat themselves? They might think you weren’t paying attention. Do you start using a lot of sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.
Every single day, individuals everywhere are dealing with situations like this while working. They try 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.
The Better Hearing Institute surveyed 80,000 people utilizing the same approach the Census Bureau uses to get a representative sampling.
People who have neglected hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.
Hey, that isn’t fair!
Hearing loss effects your overall performance so it’s not difficult to understand the above example. Unfortunately, he didn’t close the deal. Everything was going very well until the client thought he wasn’t paying attention to them. They didn’t want to work with a company that doesn’t listen.
He lost out on a commission of $1000.
The situation was misinterpreted. But how do you think this affected his career? How might things have been different if he were using his hearing aids?
Injuries on at work
People who have untreated hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to sustain a significant workplace injury according to a study carried out by the American Medical Association. Studies also show a 300% increased risk of having a serious fall and ending up in the emergency room.
And people with only mild hearing loss were at the greatest risk, surprisingly! 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 lot to gain from you:
Hearing loss shouldn’t overshadow these. But it is often a factor. It may be impacting your job more than you recognize. Here are a few ways to decrease that impact:
- Use your hearing aids while you’re at work every day, at all times. If you’re wearing your hearing aids you may not even require many of the accommodations.
- In order to have it in writing, it’s not a bad plan to write a respectful accommodations letter for your boss.
- When you’re talking with people, make certain you face them. Try not to talk on the phone as much as possible.
- Make sure your work area is well lit. Even if you don’t read lips, being able to see them can help you understand what’s being said.
- Ask for a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound goes straight into your ear instead of through background noise. You will require hearing aids that are compatible with this technology to use one.
- If a task is going to be beyond your capability you need to speak up. For instance, your boss may want you to cover for somebody who works in a noisy area. 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.
- Requesting a written overview/agenda before attending a meeting. It will be easier to follow the conversation.
- Recognize that during a job interview, you aren’t required to disclose that you have hearing loss. And it’s not okay for the interviewer to ask. Conversely, you might need to consider if your untreated hearing loss will impact your ability to interview well. You will most likely need to make the interviewer aware of your condition if that’s the situation.
Working with hearing loss
Even if you have minor hearing loss, it can still effect your performance at work. But getting it treated will frequently get rid of any obstacles you face with neglected hearing loss. Call us right away – we can help!