For just a moment, picture that you’re working as a salesperson. Now imagine that you have a call scheduled today with a really important client. Your company is being looked at for a job and several people from your company have gathered on a conference call. As the call continues, voices rise and fall…and are sometimes difficult to hear. But you’re hearing most of it.
And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you continue cranking the volume up. So you simply make do, reading between the lines. You’ve become pretty good at that.
As you listen, the voices sound particularly muffled for around a minute. This is the point where the potential client asks “so exactly how will your company help us solve this?””
You freeze. You have no clue what their company’s problem is because you didn’t catch the last portion of the conversation. This is your contract and your boss is counting on you. What can you do?
Do you request they repeat themselves? They might think you weren’t paying attention. Do you begin using a lot of sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.
Individuals go through scenarios like this every day when they are at work. Sometimes, they try to pretend they’re fine and wing it.
But how is untreated hearing loss really impacting your work in general? The following will help us find out.
The Better Hearing Institute surveyed 80,000 people utilizing the same approach the Census Bureau uses to obtain a representative sampling.
People who have disregarded hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.
That doesn’t seem fair!
Hearing loss impacts your overall performance so it’s not difficult to understand the above example. The deal couldn’t be closed, unfortunately. When they got the impression that the salesperson wasn’t listening to them, they went with someone else. They didn’t want to deal with a company that doesn’t listen.
His commission on this deal would have been more than $1000.
It was only a misunderstanding. But that doesn’t change the effect on his career. If he was using hearing aids, think about how different things could have been.
A study revealed in the Journal of The American Medical Association discovered that people with neglected hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to have a significant work accident. Studies have also revealed a 300% increased chance of having a serious fall and ending up in the emergency room.
And individuals with only minor hearing loss were at the greatest risk, unexpectedly! Perhaps they don’t grasp that hearing loss of any type impairs a person at work.
How to have a prosperous career with hearing loss
You have a lot to offer an employer:
Hearing loss shouldn’t overshadow these. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a factor. It may be having an effect on your job more than you recognize. Here are a few ways to lessen that impact:
- Keep a well lit work area. Even if you’re not a lip reader, looking directly at them can help you understand what’s being said.
- Understand that during a job interview, you’re not required to reveal that you have hearing loss. And it’s not okay for the interviewer to ask. But the other side is whether your hearing loss will have an impact on your ability to have a good interview. In that case, you might decide to disclose this before the interview.
- Use your hearing aids while your working every day, at all times. When you do this, many of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
- Compose a respectful accommodations letter to your boss. This way, you have it in writing.
- When you’re talking with people, make certain you look directly at them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.
- Asking for a written overview/agenda before attending a meeting. It will be easier to follow the conversation.
- Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound doesn’t go through background noise but instead goes straight into your ear. In order to utilize this technology you will need a hearing aid that’s appropriate.
- Speak up when a task is beyond your abilities. Your boss may, for instance, ask you to go and do some work in a part of the building that can be very loud. Offer to do a different job to make up for it. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re coping out.
Hearing loss at work
Even if you have mild hearing loss, it can still impact your work performance. But many of the obstacles that neglected hearing loss can create will be solved by getting it treated. Contact us today – we can help!