Just picture for a minute you’re a salesperson. Today, you’re having a very important call with a potential 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 goes on, voices rise and fall…and are sometimes hard to hear. But you’re getting most of it.
Cranking up the speaker just makes it sound more distorted. So you simply do your best, 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 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 catch the last portion of the conversation. Your boss is depending on you to seal this deal. What do you do?
Should you admit you didn’t hear them and ask them to reprise what they said? They might think you weren’t paying attention. What about relying on some slick 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.
So in general, how is your work being affected by your hearing loss? Let’s find out.
The Better Hearing Institute questioned 80,000 people using the same method the Census Bureau uses to obtain a representative sampling.
They found that individuals who have neglected hearing loss earn about $12,000 less per year than people who are able to hear.
Hey, that’s not 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 general performance. Unfortunately, he couldn’t close the deal. When they thought that the salesperson wasn’t paying attention to them, they pulled out. They didn’t want to deal with a firm that doesn’t listen.
His commission on this contract would have been over $1000.
It was only a misunderstanding. But how do you think this affected his career? How might things have been different if he were using his hearing aids?
On the Job Injuries
A study reported in the Journal of The American Medical Association discovered that individuals with neglected hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to have a significant work accident. Studies also show a 300% increased chance of having a significant fall and winding up in the emergency room.
And it may come as a shock that people with minor hearing loss had the highest risk among those who have hearing loss. Perhaps, their hearing loss is mild enough that they’re not even aware of it.
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 could be affecting your job more than you know. Here are a few ways to lessen that impact:
- Never disregard wearing your hearing aids while you’re at work and all of the rest of the time. If you have your hearing aids in you might not even need many of the accommodations.
- If a task is going to surpass your capability you need to speak up. Your boss may, for example, ask you to go and do some work in an area of the building that can be really loud. So that you can make up for it, offer to take on a different job. That way, it will never seem like you’re not doing your part.
- Be aware that you’re not required to reveal that you have hearing loss when you’re interviewing. And the interviewer may not ask. Conversely, you might need to consider if your neglected hearing loss will impact your ability to interview well. You will most likely need to inform the interviewer of your condition if that’s the case.
- Asking for a written overview/agenda before attending a meeting. It will be easier to keep up with the conversation.
- Look directly at people when you’re talking to them. Try to keep phone calls to a minimum.
- In order to have it in writing, it’s a good plan to write a sincere accommodations letter for your boss.
- Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound goes directly into your ear and not through background noise. You will require hearing aids that are compatible with this technology to use one.
- Keep a brightly lit work space. Even if you’re not a lip reader, looking directly at them can help you make out what’s being said.
Hearing loss at work
Hearing loss can impact your work, even if it’s mild. But many of the challenges that neglected hearing loss can create will be solved by having it treated. We can help so give us a call!