For just a minute, imagine that you have a job as a salesperson. Today, you’re on a very important call with a possible client. Multiple representatives from their offices have gathered to discuss whether to employ your company for the job. As the call proceeds, voices go up and down…and are at times hard to hear. But you’re fairly certain you got the gist of it.
Cranking the speaker up just makes it sound more distorted. So you just read between the lines the best you can. You’ve become pretty good at that.
As you listen, the voices sound particularly muffled for around a minute. This is the stage where the potential client says “so precisely how will your firm help us solve this?””
You freeze. You have no idea what their company’s issue is because you didn’t hear the last portion of the discussion. Your boss is depending on you to seal this deal. So now what?
Do you request they repeat themselves? They may think you weren’t paying attention. What about relying on some slick sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.
Every single day, people everywhere are dealing with scenarios like this at work. Oftentimes, they try to pretend they’re fine and wing it.
So in general, how is your work being impacted by your hearing loss? The following will help us find out.
The Better Hearing Institute questioned 80,000 people utilizing the same approach the Census Bureau uses to obtain a representative sampling.
They discovered that individuals who have neglected hearing loss earn around $12,000 less per year than people who are able to hear.
That doesn’t seem fair!
We could dig deep to attempt to find out what the cause is, but as the illustration above shows, hearing loss can impact your general performance. Sadly, he couldn’t close the deal. When they thought that the salesperson wasn’t paying attention to them, they went with someone else. They decided to go with a company that listens better.
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 wearing his hearing aids?
On the Job Injuries
A study revealed in the Journal of The American Medical Association found that people with neglected hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to have a significant work accident. Studies have also revealed a 300% increased risk 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 danger among those with hearing loss. Maybe, their hearing loss is minor enough that they’re not even aware of it.
Even if you have hearing loss, you can still be successful at work
Your employer has a great deal to gain from you:
These positive attributes shouldn’t be overshadowed by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor. It could be impacting your job more than you recognize. Here are a few ways to lessen that impact:
- Before a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and outline. It will be easier to keep up with the discussion.
- When you’re speaking with people, make certain you face them. Try to keep phone calls to a minimum.
- Keep a brightly lit work space. Even if you’re not a lip reader, being able to see them can help you make out what’s being said.
- Compose a respectful accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.
- Speak up when a task is beyond your abilities. Your boss might, for example, ask you to go and do some work in a part of the building that can be really loud. Offer to do a different job to make up for it. If you do that, your boss won’t think you’re just trying to get out of doing work.
- Wear your hearing aids while your working every day, at all times. When you do, lots of of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
- Request a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound doesn’t go through background noise but rather goes straight into your ear. In order to use this technology you will require a hearing aid that’s compatible.
- Understand that during a job interview, you’re not required to divulge that you have hearing loss. And the interviewer can’t ask. However, you might need to consider if your neglected hearing loss will affect your ability to have a successful interview. In that case, you might choose to disclose this before the interview.
Working with hearing loss
Even if you have mild hearing loss, it can still effect your work performance. But many of the challenges that untreated hearing loss can pose will be solved by having it treated. Give us a call today – we can help!