Just picture for a minute you’re a salesperson. Now imagine that you have a call scheduled today with a really important client. Multiple representatives from their offices have come together to talk about whether to employ your business for the job. All of the various voices get a bit garbled and difficult to understand. But you’re getting most of it.
And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you keep turning the volume up. So you just read between the lines the best you can. You’re very 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 precisely how will your company help us solve this?””
You freeze. You have no clue what their company’s issue is because you didn’t catch the last portion of the discussion. This is your contract and your boss is depending on you. What can you do?
Do you request they repeat themselves? They might think you weren’t paying attention. What about relying on some slick sales jargon? No, that will be too obvious.
Every single day, individuals everywhere are dealing with scenarios like this while working. Sometimes, 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.
A representative sampling of 80,000 people was collected by The Better Hearing Institute utilizing the same approach that the Census Bureau uses.
People who have neglected hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.
Hey, that isn’t fair!
Hearing loss effects your general performance so it’s not hard to understand the above example. Unfortunately, he didn’t close the deal. When they got the impression that the salesperson wasn’t paying attention to them, they pulled out. They didn’t want to work with a company that doesn’t listen.
His commission on this deal would have been over $1000.
The circumstances were misconstrued. But that doesn’t change the effect on his career. If he was wearing hearing aids, imagine how different things could have been.
Injuries on the job
A study reported in the Journal of The American Medical Association discovered that individuals with untreated hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to suffer a serious work accident. And, your risk of ending up in the emergency room after a serious fall increases by 300% according to other research.
And people with only slight hearing loss were at the greatest risk, unexpectedly! Perhaps 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
Your employer has a lot 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. You may not even recognize how great an effect on your job it’s having. Here are a few ways to decrease that impact:
- Be aware that you aren’t required to reveal that you have hearing loss during an interview. And the interviewer may not ask. However, you may need to think about if your neglected hearing loss will affect your ability to have a successful interview. You will most likely need to make the interviewer aware of your condition if that’s the case.
- Requesting a written overview/agenda before attending a meeting. It will be easier to keep up with the discussion.
- When you’re speaking with people, make sure you look directly at them. Try not to talk on the phone as much as possible.
- Request a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound doesn’t pass through background noise but rather goes directly into your ear. In order to use this technology you will need a hearing aid that’s appropriate.
- Make sure your work area is well lit. Being able to see lips can help you follow even if you’re not a lip reader.
- Speak up when a job surpasses your abilities. Your boss might, for example, ask you to go and do some work in a part of the building that can be very loud. In order to make up for it, offer to undertake a different job. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re just trying to get out of doing work.
- Write a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.
- Never neglect wearing your hearing aids while you’re working and all of the rest of the time. When you do, many 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 lots of the obstacles that untreated hearing loss can pose will be resolved by having it treated. Call us today – we can help!