Imagine for a minute you’re a salesperson. Today, you’re on a very important call with a potential client. Your company is being looked at for a job and numerous people from your business have gathered on a conference call. As the call proceeds, voices go up and down…and are sometimes hard to hear. But you’re fairly sure you got the gist of it.
And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you keep cranking up the volume. So you simply make do, reading between the lines. You’ve become fairly good at that.
There comes a point in the conversation where things get particularly difficult to hear. This is the stage where the potential client says “so precisely how will your firm help us solve this?””
You panic. You didn’t catch the last few minutes and aren’t certain what problem they’re attempting to solve. Your boss is depending on you to seal this deal. So now what?
Do you request they repeat themselves? They’ll think you were distracted. What about resorting to some slippery sales jargon? No, that will be too obvious.
Individuals go through scenarios like this every day when they are at work. They try to read between the lines and cope.
But how is untreated hearing loss really impacting your work in general? Let’s see.
A representative sampling of 80,000 individuals was obtained by The Better Hearing Institute utilizing the same method that the Census Bureau uses.
People who have disregarded hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.
That doesn’t seem fair!
Hearing loss impacts your overall performance so it isn’t hard to understand the above example. Unfortunately, he didn’t close the deal. Everything was going very well until the client thought he wasn’t paying attention to them. They didn’t want to work with a firm that doesn’t listen.
His commission on this contract would have been over $1000.
The situation was misinterpreted. But how do you think this impacted his career? How may things have been different if he were using his hearing aids?
On the Job Injuries
People who have untreated hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to incur a serious on-the-job injury according to a study conducted by the American Medical Association. And, your danger of ending up in the emergency room after a serious fall goes up by 300% according to other studies.
And people with only minor hearing loss were at the greatest risk, unexpectedly! Perhaps they don’t realize that hearing loss of any kind impairs a person 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 dominated by hearing loss. But it is often a factor. You may not even know how big an impact on your job it’s having. Here are some ways to reduce that impact:
- Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound doesn’t go through background noise but rather goes directly into your ear. In order to use this technology you will require a hearing aid that’s appropriate.
- Wear your hearing aids while you’re at work every day, at all times. If you’re wearing your hearing aids you may not even require many of the accommodations.
- Before a meeting, ask if you can get a written agenda and overview. Discussions will be easier to follow.
- Be aware that you’re not required to divulge that you have hearing loss during an interview. 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 good interview. In that case, you may decide to divulge this before the interview.
- Be certain your work area is well lit. Even if you’re not a lip reader, looking directly at them can help you understand what’s being said.
- So that you have it in writing, it’s a good plan to compose a respectful accommodations letter for your boss.
- Speak up when a job is beyond your abilities. Your boss may, for instance, ask you to go and do some work in an area of the building that can be very noisy. 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.
- When you’re talking with people, make sure you face them. Try not to have phone conversations as much as possible.
Working with hearing loss
Even if you have slight hearing loss, it can still impact your performance at work. But getting it treated will frequently get rid of any barriers you face with untreated hearing impairment. Give us a call right away – we can help!