For just a minute, imagine that you have a job as a salesperson. Today, you’re on a very important call with a potential client. Your company is being considered for a job and a number of individuals from your business have gathered on a conference call. As the call proceeds, voices go up and down…and are sometimes difficult to hear. But you’re getting most of it.
Cranking up the speaker just makes it sound more distorted. So you simply make do, interpreting what’s being said the best you can. You’ve become pretty good at that.
There comes a point in the conversation where things become particularly difficult to hear. This is the stage where the potential client says “so exactly how will your company help us solve this?””
You panic. You have no clue what their company’s issue is because you didn’t catch the last part of the conversation. This is your deal and your boss is depending on you. What can you do?
Should you admit you didn’t hear them and ask them to reprise what they said? They’ll think you were distracted. 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 attempt to read between the lines and get by.
But how is neglected hearing loss really impacting your work in general? The following will help us find out.
A representative sampling of 80,000 people was collected by The Better Hearing Institute utilizing the same technique that the Census Bureau uses.
People who have neglected hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.
That doesn’t seem fair!
Hearing loss impacts your general performance so it’s not hard to understand the above example. The deal couldn’t be closed, regrettably. When they got the impression that the salesperson wasn’t listening to them, they pulled out. They decided to go with a company that listens better.
He lost out on a commission of $1000.
It was only a misunderstanding. But that doesn’t change the impact on his career. How may things have been different if he were using his hearing aids?
A study reported in the Journal of The American Medical Association discovered that individuals with untreated hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to have a significant work accident. And, your chance of ending up in the emergency room after a serious fall goes up by 300% according to other studies.
And people with only slight hearing loss were at the greatest risk, surprisingly! Maybe, their hearing loss is mild enough that they don’t even know about it.
How to have a prosperous career with hearing loss
Your employer has a lot to gain from you:
Hearing loss shouldn’t overshadow these. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a factor. It may be affecting your job more than you recognize. Take actions to reduce the impact like:
- Use your hearing aids while you’re at work every day, at all times. When you do this, lots of of the accommodations won’t be necessary.
- Ask for a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound goes directly into your ear instead of through background noise. You will require hearing aids that will work with this technology to use one.
- When you’re talking with people, make sure you face them. Try not to have phone conversations as much as you can.
- Keep a well lit work space. Being able to see lips can help you follow along even if you don’t read lips.
- Write a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. This way, you have it in writing.
- Be aware that you’re not required to divulge that you have hearing loss during an interview. And it’s not okay for the interviewer to ask. Conversely, you might need to consider if your untreated hearing loss will affect your ability to interview well. You will probably need to make the interviewer aware of your condition if that’s the situation.
- If a task is going to surpass your capability you need to speak up. 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 a different job to make up for it. That way, it never seems like you aren’t doing your part.
- Before attending a meeting, ask if you can get a written agenda and overview. It will be easier to keep up with the conversation.
Working with hearing loss
Hearing loss can effect your work, even if it’s mild. But having it treated will frequently get rid of any barriers you face with neglected hearing loss. Call us today – we can help!