Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

Just picture for a minute you’re a salesperson. Today, you’re on a very important call with a potential client. Multiple agents from their offices have gathered to talk about whether to hire your business for the job. All of the various voices get a bit garbled and hard to understand. But you’re fairly sure you got the gist of it.

Cranking the speaker up just makes it sound more distorted. So you simply make do, interpreting what’s being said the best you can. You’re very good at that.

As you try to listen, the voices sound particularly muffled for about a minute. This is the point where the potential client asks “so precisely how will your firm help us solve this?””

You panic. You didn’t catch the last few minutes and aren’t sure what problem they’re attempting to resolve. This is your deal and your boss is depending on you. What can you do?

Do you ask them to repeat themselves? They may think you weren’t paying attention. Do you begin using a lot of sales jargon? No, that will be too obvious.

Individuals go through scenarios like this every day when they are at work. Oftentimes, they try to pretend they’re okay and wing it.

But how is untreated hearing loss really impacting your work in general? Let’s find out.

Lower wages

A representative sampling of 80,000 individuals was collected by The Better Hearing Institute using the same method that the Census Bureau uses.

Individuals who have disregarded hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.

Hey, that’s not fair!

Hearing loss effects your overall performance so it’s not hard to understand the above example. Sadly, 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 go with a company that listens better.

He missed out on a $1000 commission.

It was only a misunderstanding. But how do you think this impacted his career? If he was wearing hearing aids, imagine how different things could have been.

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 risk of ending up in the emergency room after a significant fall goes up by 300% according to other research.

And people with only minor hearing loss were at the greatest risk, unexpectedly! Perhaps, 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

You have a lot to offer an employer:

  • Empathy
  • Skills
  • Personality
  • Experience
  • Confidence

These positive attributes shouldn’t be overshadowed by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a factor. It may be having an effect on your job more than you know. Take measures to decrease the impact like:

  • Before a meeting, ask if you can get a written agenda and outline. It will be easier to follow the discussion.
  • When you’re speaking with people, make certain you face them. Try not to have phone conversations as much as possible.
  • Never overlook using your hearing aids while you’re working and all of the rest of the time. When you do this, lots of of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
  • Understand that during a job interview, you’re not required to reveal that you have hearing loss. And it isn’t okay for the interviewer to ask. But the other consideration is whether your hearing loss will have an impact on your ability to have a successful interview. You will probably need to make the interviewer aware of your condition if that’s the case.
  • Make sure your work space is brightly lit. Seeing lips can help you follow even if you don’t read lips.
  • Write a respectful accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.
  • Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound goes directly into your ear instead of through background noise. In order to utilize this technology you will need a hearing aid that’s appropriate.
  • If a job is going to be beyond your capability you need to speak up. Your boss may, for instance, ask you to go and do some work in an area of the building that can be really loud. In order to make up for it, offer to undertake a different job. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re just trying to get out of doing work.

Working with hearing loss

Hearing loss can impact your work, even if it’s mild. But many of the obstacles that neglected hearing loss can pose will be resolved by having it treated. We can help so give us a call!

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