For just a minute, picture that you’re working as a salesperson. Now imagine that you have a call scheduled today with a really valuable 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 difficult to hear. But you’re pretty certain you got the gist of it.
And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you keep turning up the volume. So you just do your best at filling in the blanks. 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 exactly how will your company help us solve this?””
You panic. You have no idea what their company’s issue is because you didn’t catch the last portion of the conversation. This is your contract and your boss is depending on you. So now what?
Should you acknowledge you didn’t hear them and ask them to reprise what they said? They may think you weren’t paying attention. What about resorting to some slippery sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.
People go through scenarios like this every day when they are at work. Sometimes, they try to pretend they’re okay and wing it.
But how is untreated hearing loss really affecting your work in general? Let’s find out.
A representative sampling of 80,000 people was collected by The Better Hearing Institute utilizing the same technique that the Census Bureau uses.
Individuals who have disregarded hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.
That doesn’t seem fair!
We could dig deep to attempt to find out what the cause is, but as the illustration above demonstrates, hearing loss can impact your general performance. Unfortunately, he didn’t close the deal. When they got the impression that the salesperson wasn’t listening to them, they went with someone else. They decided to work with a company that listens better.
He lost out on a commission of $1000.
The situation was misconstrued. But that doesn’t change the effect on his career. How may things have been different if he were using his hearing aids?
A study revealed in the Journal of The American Medical Association found that people with untreated hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to suffer a serious work accident. And, your chance of ending up in the emergency room after a significant fall goes up by 300% according to other studies.
And individuals with only minor hearing loss were at the greatest risk, unexpectedly! Maybe, their hearing loss is minor enough that they’re not even aware of it.
Even if you have hearing loss, you can still be successful at work
Your employer has a great deal to gain from you:
Hearing loss shouldn’t overshadow these. But it is frequently a factor. You might not even recognize how great an impact on your job it’s having. Take actions to minimize the impact like:
- Be certain your work space is well lit. Seeing lips can help you follow along even if you don’t read lips.
- Before attending a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and overview. Conversations will be easier to follow.
- Wear your hearing aids while you’re at work every day, all the time. When you do, many of the accommodations won’t be necessary.
- Ask for a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound doesn’t go through background noise but rather goes directly into your ear. You will require hearing aids that will work with this technology to use one.
- If a task is going to be beyond your capability you need to speak up. For instance, your boss might want you to cover for someone who works in a really loud area. 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.
- Write a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.
- Recognize that when you’re interviewing, you’re not required to divulge that you have hearing loss. And it isn’t okay for the interviewer to ask. But the other side is whether your hearing loss will have an effect on your ability to have a good interview. In that situation, you might choose to reveal this before the interview.
- Look directly at people when you’re conversing with them. Try not to talk on the phone as much as possible.
Hearing loss at work
Even if you have slight hearing loss, it can still effect your performance at work. But lots of the challenges that untreated hearing loss can pose will be resolved by getting it treated. We can help so contact us!