Just picture for a minute you’re a salesperson. Now imagine that you have a call scheduled today with a very valuable client. Your company is being looked at for a job and several people from your business have come together on a conference call. As the call proceeds, voices rise and fall…and are sometimes difficult to hear. But you’re hearing most of it.
Cranking up the speaker just makes it sound more distorted. So you simply do your best, reading between the lines. You’re quite good at that.
As you listen, the voices sound particularly muffled for around a minute. This is the point where the potential client says “so exactly how will your company help us solve this?””
You panic. You didn’t hear the last few minutes and aren’t sure what issue they’re trying to resolve. This is your contract and your boss is counting on you. What do you do?
Do you request they repeat themselves? They’ll think you were distracted. What about resorting to some slick sales jargon? No, that will be too conspicuous.
Individuals go through scenarios like this every day when they are at work. They try to read between the lines and get by.
But how is untreated hearing loss really affecting your work in general? Let’s see.
A representative sampling of 80,000 people was collected by The Better Hearing Institute utilizing the same method that the Census Bureau uses.
They found that people who have untreated hearing loss make around $12,000 less per year than those who can hear.
That doesn’t seem fair!
Hearing loss effects your overall performance so it isn’t hard to understand the above example. Unfortunately, he couldn’t close the deal. When they got the impression that the salesperson wasn’t paying attention to them, they went with someone else. They didn’t want to work with a firm that doesn’t listen.
His commission on this deal would have been over $1000.
The situation was misconstrued. But that doesn’t change the impact on his career. If he was using hearing aids, think about how different things could have been.
On the Job Injuries
A study reported in the Journal of The American Medical Association discovered that individuals with neglected hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to have a significant work accident. And, your danger of ending up in the emergency room after a serious fall goes up by 300% according to other research.
And it might come as a surprise that individuals with mild hearing loss had the highest risk among those who have hearing loss. Maybe they don’t realize that hearing loss of any type impairs an individual at work.
How to have a prosperous career with hearing loss
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’s not a factor. It may be having an effect on your job more than you know. Take actions to reduce the impact like:
- So that you have it in writing, it’s a good idea to write a sincere accommodations letter for your boss.
- Be aware that you aren’t required to reveal that you have hearing loss when you’re interviewing. And the interviewer may not ask. But the other side is whether your hearing loss will have an effect on your ability to have a successful interview. In that situation, you may decide to reveal this before the interview.
- Speak up when a job surpasses your abilities. Your boss may, for example, ask you to go and do some work in a part of the building that can be really noisy. So that you can make up for it, offer to undertake a different task. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re just trying to get out of doing work.
- Request a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound doesn’t pass through background noise but instead goes directly into your ear. In order to use this technology you will need a hearing aid that’s appropriate.
- When you’re speaking with people, make certain you face them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.
- Requesting a written outline/agenda before attending a meeting. Discussions will be easier to follow.
- Keep a well lit work area. Seeing lips can help you follow even if you don’t read lips.
- Never neglect wearing your hearing aids at work and all of the rest of the time. When you do this, lots of of the accommodations won’t be necessary.
Hearing loss at work
Even if you have minor hearing loss, it can still effect your performance at work. But many of the obstacles that neglected hearing loss can pose will be solved by having it treated. Contact us today – we can help!