For just a moment, picture that you have a job as a salesperson. Today, you’re on a very important call with a possible client. Your company is being considered for a job and several individuals from your company have come together on a conference call. As the call goes on, voices go up and down…and are at times hard 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 do your best, interpreting what’s being said the best you can. You’ve become pretty good at that.
There comes a point in the discussion where things become particularly difficult to hear. Then suddenly you hear, “so what can your company do to help us with this”?”
You panic. You didn’t catch the last few minutes and aren’t certain what problem they’re trying to resolve. This is your deal and your boss is counting on you. So now what?
Should you acknowledge you didn’t hear them and ask them to reprise what they said? They’ll think you were distracted. Do you begin 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.
But how is neglected hearing loss actually affecting your work as a whole? Let’s find out.
The Better Hearing Institute questioned 80,000 individuals utilizing the same technique the Census Bureau uses to get a representative sampling.
People who have neglected hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.
That doesn’t seem fair!
Hearing loss effects your general performance so it’s not hard to understand the above example. The deal couldn’t be closed, regrettably. 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.
He missed out on a $1000 commission.
The circumstances were misinterpreted. But that doesn’t change the effect on his career. How may things have been different if he were wearing his hearing aids?
Injuries on at work
A study revealed in the Journal of The American Medical Association found that people with neglected hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to have a significant work accident. Studies have also revealed a 300% increased risk of having a significant fall and ending up in the emergency room.
And it might come as a surprise that people with mild hearing loss had the highest chance among those with hearing loss. Maybe they don’t grasp that hearing loss of any kind impairs a person at work.
How to have a prosperous career with hearing loss
You have so much to offer an employer:
Hearing loss shouldn’t dominate these. But it is frequently a factor. You may not even know how big an impact on your job it’s having. Take actions to lessen the impact like:
- Never disregard using your hearing aids while you’re at work and all of the rest of the time. When you do this, many of the accommodations won’t be necessary.
- Speak up when a job surpasses your abilities. For instance, your boss might want you to cover for someone who works in a really loud part of the building. In order to make up for it, offer to take on a different task. That way, it will never seem like you’re not doing your part.
- Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound goes directly into your ear instead of through background noise. You will need hearing aids that are compatible with this technology to use one.
- Face people when you’re speaking with them. Try to keep phone calls to a minimum.
- Requesting a written outline/agenda before a meeting. It will be easier to follow the discussion.
- Keep a brightly lit work space. Even if you’re not a lip reader, looking directly at them can help you discern what’s being said.
- In order to have it in writing, it’s a good plan to draft up a respectful accommodations letter for your boss.
- Understand that when you’re interviewing, you’re not required to disclose that you have hearing loss. And the interviewer may not ask. But the other side is whether your hearing loss will have an impact on your ability to have a good interview. You will probably need to inform the interviewer of your condition if that’s the case.
Working with hearing loss
Even if you have mild hearing loss, it can still effect your performance at work. But having it treated will often get rid of any obstacles you face with neglected hearing loss. Give us a call today – we can help!