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 considered for a job and numerous individuals from your company have gathered on a conference call. All of the various voices get a little jumbled and hard to understand. But you’re getting most of it.
Cranking up the speaker just makes it sound more distorted. So you just read between the lines the best you can. You’ve become pretty good at that.
There comes a point in the discussion where things get particularly hard to hear. Then suddenly you hear, “so what can your company do to help us with this”?”
You panic. You didn’t hear the last few minutes and aren’t certain what issue they’re trying to solve. Your boss is depending on you to seal this deal. What do you do?
Do you ask them to repeat themselves? They’ll think you were distracted. What about resorting to some slippery sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.
Individuals go through situations like this every day when they are at work. Sometimes, they try to pretend they’re okay and wing it.
So in general, how is your work being impacted by your hearing loss? Let’s see.
A representative sampling of 80,000 individuals was obtained by The Better Hearing Institute utilizing the same technique that the Census Bureau uses.
They discovered that people who have neglected hearing loss make about $12,000 less per year than people who can hear.
Hey, that’s not fair!
We could dig deep to attempt to find out what the cause is, but as the example above shows, hearing loss can affect your overall performance. Sadly, he didn’t close the deal. When they thought that the salesperson wasn’t paying attention to them, they pulled out. They decided to work with a company that listens better.
He lost out on a commission of $1000.
The circumstances were misinterpreted. But that doesn’t change the effect on his career. How might things have been different if he were wearing his hearing aids?
Injuries on the job
A study reported in the Journal of The American Medical Association found that individuals with neglected hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to have a serious work accident. Studies also show a 300% increased chance of having a significant fall and winding up in the emergency room.
And it might come as a shock that individuals with mild hearing loss had the highest risk among those with hearing loss. Maybe they don’t grasp that hearing loss of any kind impairs a person at work.
Even if you have hearing loss, you can still be successful at work
You have so much to offer an employer:
These positive attributes shouldn’t be dominated by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a factor. You might not even recognize how great an effect on your job it’s having. Here are a few ways to decrease that impact:
- Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound doesn’t pass through background noise but instead goes straight into your ear. In order to use this technology you will need a hearing aid that’s appropriate.
- Compose a respectful accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.
- Look directly at people when you’re talking to them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.
- If a job is going to surpass your capability you need to speak up. For example, your boss may ask you to cover for someone who works in a really loud part of the building. Offer to do a different job to make up for it. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re coping out.
- Before attending a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and overview. Conversations will be easier to follow.
- Never overlook using your hearing aids at work and all of the rest of the time. When you do this, many of the accommodations won’t be necessary.
- Know that you aren’t required to disclose that you have hearing loss when you’re interviewing. 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 successful interview. You will probably need to inform the interviewer of your condition if that’s the situation.
- Keep a brightly lit work space. Being able to see lips can help you follow along even if you don’t read lips.
Working with hearing loss
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 present will be resolved by getting it treated. We can help so call us!