Imagine for a minute you’re a salesperson. Now picture that you have a call scheduled today with a very valuable client. Your company is being looked at for a job and numerous people from your company have gathered on a conference call. All of the various voices get a bit jumbled and difficult to understand. But you’re pretty certain you got the gist of it.
Turning the speaker up just makes it sound more distorted. So you just read between the lines the best you can. You’re quite good at that.
As you listen, the voices sound specifically 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 didn’t catch the last few minutes and aren’t certain what problem they’re trying to resolve. Your boss is depending on you to seal this deal. What can you do?
Do you ask them to 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.
People 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 impacted by your hearing loss? Let’s see.
A representative sampling of 80,000 people was collected by The Better Hearing Institute using the same technique that the Census Bureau uses.
People who have disregarded hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.
Hey, that’s not fair!
We could dig deep to try to figure out what the cause is, but as the example above shows, hearing loss can affect your overall performance. 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.
His commission on this deal would have been more than $1000.
It was just a misunderstanding. But that doesn’t change the effect on his career. If he was using hearing aids, imagine how different things might have been.
A study revealed in the Journal of The American Medical Association found that people with neglected hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to suffer a serious work accident. And, your danger of ending up in the emergency room after a significant fall goes up by 300% according to other research.
And individuals with only slight hearing loss were at the greatest risk, unexpectedly! Maybe they don’t realize that hearing loss of any type impairs an individual at work.
Even if you have hearing loss, you can still be successful at work
You have a lot to offer an employer:
These positive qualities shouldn’t be overshadowed by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor. It could be affecting your job more than you know. Take measures to reduce the impact like:
- 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 very loud. Offer to do something else to make up for it. If you do that, your boss won’t think you’re coping out.
- Before attending a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and overview. It will be easier to follow the discussion.
- Request a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound doesn’t go through background noise but instead goes directly into your ear. You will need hearing aids that will work with this technology to use one.
- Never overlook using your hearing aids while you’re at work and all of the rest of the time. When you do, lots of of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
- Make sure your work area is brightly lit. Being able to see lips can help you follow along even if you don’t read lips.
- Understand that during a job interview, you aren’t required to divulge that you have hearing loss. And the interviewer may not 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 choose to disclose this before the interview.
- When you’re talking to people, make certain you look directly at them. Try not to have phone conversations as much as you can.
- Compose a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. This way, you have it in writing.
Hearing loss at work
Hearing loss can effect your work, even if it’s slight. But getting it treated will often get rid of any obstacles you face with untreated hearing loss. We can help so call us!