Imagine for a minute you’re a salesperson. Now picture that you have a call scheduled today with a really valuable client. Your company is being looked at for a job and several people from your business have come together on a conference call. All of the various voices get a bit garbled and difficult to comprehend. But you’re hearing most of it.
And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you continue cranking the volume up. So you just read between the lines the best you can. You’re quite good at that.
As you listen, the voices sound specifically muffled for around a minute. This is the point where the potential client says “so precisely how will your firm help us solve this?””
You panic. You didn’t hear the last few minutes and aren’t sure what issue they’re attempting to resolve. Your boss is counting on you to close this deal. So now what?
Do you request they repeat themselves? They may think you weren’t paying attention. Do you start using a lot of sales jargon? No, that will be too conspicuous.
Individuals go through scenarios like this every day when they are at work. They attempt to read between the lines and cope.
So in general, how is your work being affected by your hearing loss? Let’s find out.
A representative sampling of 80,000 individuals was collected by The Better Hearing Institute using the same technique that the Census Bureau uses.
They discovered that individuals who have untreated hearing loss make around $12,000 less per year than people who are able to hear.
That doesn’t seem fair!
Hearing loss effects your overall performance so it’s not difficult to understand the above example. Unfortunately, he didn’t close the deal. Everything was going great until the client thought he wasn’t listening to them. They decided to go with a company that listens better.
His commission on this deal would have been over $1000.
The circumstances were misconstrued. But how do you think this impacted his career? How might things have been different if he were using his hearing aids?
A study revealed 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. Studies also show a 300% increased chance of having a significant fall and ending up in the emergency room.
And people with only mild hearing loss were at the highest risk, surprisingly! Maybe they don’t recognize that hearing loss of any type impairs an individual at work.
Even if you have hearing loss, you can still have a successful career
You have so much to offer an employer:
Hearing loss shouldn’t overshadow these. But it is often a factor. It may be impacting your job more than you realize. Here are some ways to reduce that impact:
- Write a respectful accommodations letter to your boss. This way, you have it in writing.
- Look directly at people when you’re speaking with them. Try not to talk on the phone as much as you can.
- Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound goes directly into your ear and not through background noise. You will require hearing aids that will work with this technology to use one.
- Recognize that during a job interview, you’re not required to reveal that you have hearing loss. And it’s not okay for the interviewer to ask. Conversely, you might need to consider if your untreated hearing loss will impact your ability to have a successful interview. In that situation, you may decide to divulge this before the interview.
- Be certain your work area is well lit. Being able to see lips can help you follow along even if you don’t read lips.
- Before a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and outline. Discussions will be easier to follow.
- Never overlook using your hearing aids while you’re at work and all of the rest of the time. When you do, many of the accommodations won’t be necessary.
- If a task is going to surpass your capability you need to speak up. Your boss may, for example, ask you to go and do some work in an area of the building that can be very noisy. Offer to do a different job to make up for it. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re just trying to get out of doing work.
Hearing loss at work
Hearing loss can impact your work, even if it’s slight. But getting it treated will often get rid of any barriers you face with neglected hearing loss. Contact us right away – we can help!