For just a second, picture that you’re working as a salesperson. Now imagine that you have a call scheduled today with a very important client. Multiple reps from their offices have come together to talk about whether to hire your business for the job. As the call proceeds, voices go up and down…and are sometimes hard to hear. But you’re pretty sure you got the gist of it.
And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you continue cranking up the volume. So you simply do your best, reading between the lines. You’ve become pretty good at that.
There comes a point in the discussion where things get particularly difficult to hear. This is the stage where the potential client asks “so exactly how will your company help us solve this?””
You panic. You didn’t catch the last few minutes and aren’t certain what problem they’re attempting to solve. This is your deal and your boss is counting on you. What do you do?
Should you confess you didn’t hear them and ask them to repeat what they said? They might think you weren’t paying attention. What about relying on some slippery sales jargon? No, that will be too obvious.
Individuals go through scenarios like this every day when they are at work. They attempt to read between the lines and get by.
But how is untreated hearing loss actually impacting your work as a whole? Let’s see.
A representative sampling of 80,000 individuals was collected by The Better Hearing Institute using the same approach that the Census Bureau uses.
People who have disregarded hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.
Hey, that isn’t fair!
Hearing loss impacts your overall performance so it’s not hard to understand the above example. The deal couldn’t be closed, unfortunately. Everything was going great until the client thought he wasn’t listening to them. They didn’t want to deal 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? If he was wearing hearing aids, imagine how different things could have been.
A study reported in the Journal of The American Medical Association found that people with neglected hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to have a serious work accident. Studies have also revealed a 300% increased chance of having a significant fall and winding up in the emergency room.
And it might come as a surprise that individuals with mild hearing loss had the highest chance among those with hearing loss. Maybe, their hearing loss is mild enough that they’re not even aware of it.
How to have a prosperous career with hearing loss
Your employer has a great deal to gain from you:
These positive qualities shouldn’t be dominated by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a factor. You may not even realize how huge an impact on your job it’s having. Here are some ways to reduce that impact:
- Face people when you’re speaking with them. Try to keep phone calls to a minimum.
- Never disregard using your hearing aids while you’re at work and all of the rest of the time. If you have your hearing aids in you may not even require many of the accommodations.
- Speak up when a task is beyond your abilities. Your boss might, for example, ask you to go and do some work in an area of the building that can be really loud. Offer to do something else to make up for it. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re just trying to get out of doing work.
- Make sure your work space is well lit. Even if you don’t read lips, looking directly at them can help you discern what’s being said.
- Recognize that when you’re interviewing, you aren’t required to divulge that you have hearing loss. And it’s not okay for the interviewer to ask. Conversely, you might need to think about if your untreated hearing loss will impact your ability to have a successful interview. In that situation, you might choose to reveal this before the interview.
- Asking for a written outline/agenda before a meeting. It will be easier to keep up with the discussion.
- Ask for a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound doesn’t go through background noise but rather goes directly into your ear. In order to use this technology you will need a hearing aid that’s appropriate.
- In order to have it in writing, it’s a good plan to draft up a respectful accommodations letter for your boss.
Hearing loss at work
Even if you have slight hearing loss, it can still effect your work performance. But getting it treated will frequently get rid of any obstacles you face with neglected hearing impairment. We can help so call us!