Imagine for a minute you’re a salesperson. Now picture that you have a call scheduled today with a really valuable client. Your company is being considered for a job and a number of people from your business have gathered on a conference call. All of the various voices get a bit garbled and hard to understand. But you’re getting most of it.
Turning up the speaker just makes it sound more distorted. So you just do your best at filling in the blanks. You’ve become pretty good at that.
As you try to listen, the voices sound specifically muffled for about a minute. This is the stage where the potential client says “so exactly how will your company help us solve this?””
You panic. You have no idea what their company’s issue is because you didn’t catch the last portion of the discussion. 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.
Individuals go through situations like this every day when they are at work. They try to read between the lines and cope.
But how is neglected hearing loss really impacting your work as a whole? Let’s see.
The Better Hearing Institute surveyed 80,000 individuals utilizing the same method the Census Bureau uses to get a representative sampling.
They discovered that individuals who have neglected hearing loss make about $12,000 less per year than people who can hear.
Hey, that’s not fair!
Hearing loss effects your general performance so it’s not difficult to understand the above example. The deal couldn’t be closed, unfortunately. Everything was going very well until the client thought he wasn’t listening to them. They didn’t want to deal with a company that doesn’t listen.
His commission on this contract would have been over $1000.
It was only a misunderstanding. But that doesn’t change the effect on his career. How might things have been different if he were wearing his hearing aids?
Injuries on at work
A study reported in the Journal of The American Medical Association found that individuals with untreated hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to suffer a significant work accident. And, your chance of ending up in the emergency room after a significant fall increases by 300% according to other studies.
And individuals with only slight hearing loss were at the highest risk, unexpectedly! Maybe they don’t recognize that hearing loss of any type impairs an individual at work.
Even if you have hearing loss, you can still have a successful career
You have so much 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 realize. Take measures to lessen the impact like:
- Never neglect using your hearing aids while you’re working and all of the rest of the time. If you’re wearing your hearing aids you might not even require many of the accommodations.
- Look directly at people when you’re conversing with them. Try not to have phone conversations as much as you can.
- Request a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound goes directly into your ear instead of through background noise. You will need hearing aids that will work with this technology to use one.
- Recognize that when you’re interviewing, you’re not required to reveal that you have hearing loss. And the interviewer can’t ask. Conversely, you may need to consider if your untreated hearing loss will impact your ability to have a successful interview. In that situation, you may decide to disclose this before the interview.
- Keep a well lit work area. Seeing lips can help you follow even if you don’t read lips.
- Before a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and overview. It will be easier to keep up with the discussion.
- In order to have it in writing, it’s a good plan to compose a respectful accommodations letter for your boss.
- Speak up when a job surpasses your abilities. For instance, your boss might ask you to cover for someone who works in a noisy area. Offer to do something else to make up for it. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re coping out.
Working with hearing loss
Hearing loss can effect your work, even if it’s slight. But having it treated will frequently minimize any barriers you face with untreated hearing impairment. Call us right away – we can help!