For just a second, imagine that you have a job as a salesperson. Now imagine that you have a call scheduled today with a very important client. Your company is being considered for a job and a number of individuals from your business have come together on a conference call. As the call goes on, voices rise and fall…and are at times difficult to hear. But you’re getting most of it.
Turning the speaker up just makes it sound more distorted. So you simply do your best, reading between the lines. You’ve become fairly good at that.
There comes a point in the discussion where things get particularly hard 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 sure what problem they’re trying to solve. This is your deal and your boss is counting on you. So now what?
Should you confess you didn’t hear them and ask them to reprise what they said? They may think you weren’t paying attention. Do you begin using a lot of 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 cope.
But how is neglected hearing loss actually affecting your work as a whole? The following can help us find out.
A representative sampling of 80,000 individuals was collected by The Better Hearing Institute using the same method that the Census Bureau uses.
They found that people who have untreated hearing loss earn about $12,000 less per year than those who can hear.
That doesn’t seem fair!
We could dig deep to try to find out what the cause is, but as the illustration above demonstrates, hearing loss can impact your overall performance. Sadly, he didn’t close the deal. Everything was going very well until the client thought he wasn’t paying attention to them. They didn’t want to work with a company that doesn’t listen.
His commission on this contract would have been more than $1000.
The circumstances were misinterpreted. But that doesn’t change the effect on his career. If he was wearing hearing aids, imagine how different things might have been.
People who have untreated hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to incur a significant on-the-job injury according to a study carried out by the American Medical Association. Studies also show a 300% increased risk of having a serious fall and winding up in the emergency room.
And people with only slight hearing loss were at the highest risk, surprisingly! Maybe they don’t grasp that hearing loss of any kind impairs an individual at work.
Even if you have hearing loss, you can still be successful at work
Your employer has a lot to gain from you:
Hearing loss shouldn’t overshadow these. But it is frequently a factor. You might not even realize how big an impact on your job it’s having. Take actions to reduce the impact like:
- When you’re talking with people, make sure you face them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.
- Keep a well lit work space. Being able to see lips can help you follow along even if you don’t read lips.
- Recognize that when you’re interviewing, you’re not required to reveal that you have hearing loss. And it isn’t okay for the interviewer to ask. But the other side is whether your hearing loss will have an effect on your ability to have a good interview. You will probably need to make the interviewer aware of your condition if that’s the situation.
- Never overlook using your hearing aids at work and all of the rest of the time. If you’re wearing your hearing aids you may not even require many of the accommodations.
- Asking for a written outline/agenda before attending a meeting. It will be easier to follow the conversation.
- Write a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.
- Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound doesn’t go through background noise but rather goes straight into your ear. In order to use this technology you will need a hearing aid that’s compatible.
- Speak up when a task surpasses your abilities. For instance, your boss may ask you to cover for somebody who works in a really loud part of the building. In order to make up for it, offer to take on a different task. This way, it never seems as if you aren’t doing your part.
Working with hearing loss
Hearing loss can impact your work, even if it’s minor. But getting it treated will frequently minimize any obstacles you face with neglected hearing loss. Call us right away – we can help!