For just a minute, imagine that you’re working as a salesperson. Now picture that you have a call scheduled today with a really valuable client. Multiple agents from their offices have come together to discuss whether to employ your company for the job. All of the different voices get a bit garbled and difficult to understand. But you’re hearing most of it.
Turning up the speaker just makes it sound more distorted. So you just do your best at filling in the blanks. You’ve become pretty good at that.
As you listen, the voices sound particularly muffled for around a minute. This is the point where the potential client asks “so precisely how will your firm help us solve this?””
You freeze. You didn’t hear the last few minutes and aren’t sure what problem they’re trying to resolve. This is your deal and your boss is counting on you. So now what?
Do you ask them to repeat themselves? They might think you weren’t paying attention. Do you start using a lot of sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.
People go through situations 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? The following can help us find out.
A representative sampling of 80,000 people was collected by The Better Hearing Institute using the same technique that the Census Bureau uses.
They found that individuals who have neglected hearing loss make about $12,000 less per year than people who can hear.
That doesn’t seem fair!
Hearing loss effects your general performance so it isn’t difficult to understand the above example. Unfortunately, he couldn’t close the deal. Everything was going very well until the client thought he wasn’t listening to them. They decided to work with a company that listens better.
His commission on this deal would have been more than $1000.
The situation was misconstrued. But how do you think this impacted his career? If he was wearing hearing aids, imagine how different things may have been.
On the Job Injuries
People who have untreated hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to sustain a significant on-the-job injury according to a study carried out by the American Medical Association. Studies have also revealed a 300% increased risk of having a serious fall and winding up in the emergency room.
And individuals with only minor hearing loss were at the greatest risk, unexpectedly! Perhaps, their hearing loss is mild enough that they’re not even aware of it.
How to have a successful career with hearing loss
Your employer has a lot to gain from you:
Hearing loss shouldn’t dominate these. But it is frequently a factor. It may be impacting your job more than you realize. Take measures to decrease the impact like:
- Face people when you’re conversing with them. Try not to talk on the phone as much as you can.
- Keep a well lit work area. Being able to see lips can help you follow even if you’re not a lip reader.
- Before attending a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and overview. Discussions will be easier to keep up with.
- Request a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound goes straight into your ear and not through background noise. In order to use this technology you will require a hearing aid that’s compatible.
- Be aware that you aren’t required to divulge that you have hearing loss during an interview. And it’s not okay for the interviewer to ask. But the other side is whether your hearing loss will have an impact on your ability to have a good interview. You will most likely need to inform the interviewer of your condition if that’s the case.
- Speak up when a task surpasses your abilities. For instance, your boss may want you to cover for somebody who works in a really loud part of the building. Offer to do something else to make up for it. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re just trying to get out of doing work.
- In order to have it in writing, it’s not a bad plan to write a respectful accommodations letter for your boss.
- Never overlook wearing your hearing aids at work and all of the rest of the time. When you do this, many of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
Working with hearing loss
Hearing loss can impact your work, even if it’s mild. But many of the obstacles that untreated hearing loss can pose will be solved by having it treated. Give us a call today – we can help!