For just a moment, picture that you have a job as a salesperson. Today, you’re having a very important call with a potential client. Multiple representatives from their offices have come together to discuss whether to employ your company for the job. As the call goes on, voices go up and down…and are sometimes difficult to hear. But you’re hearing most of it.
And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you keep turning up the volume. So you just read between the lines the best you can. You’ve become fairly good at that.
As you try to listen, the voices sound particularly muffled for about a minute. This is the stage where the potential client says “so precisely how will your firm help us solve this?””
You freeze. You have no clue what their company’s problem is because you didn’t hear the last portion of the discussion. Your boss is depending on you to close this deal. So now what?
Should you admit you didn’t hear them and ask them to repeat what they said? They’ll think you were distracted. Do you begin using a lot of sales jargon? No, that will be too obvious.
Individuals go through situations like this every day when they are at work. Sometimes, they try to pretend they’re fine and wing it.
So in general, how is your work being affected by your hearing loss? The following will help us find out.
The Better Hearing Institute questioned 80,000 people using the same technique the Census Bureau uses to obtain a representative sampling.
People who have neglected hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.
That doesn’t seem fair!
We could dig deep to attempt to figure out what the cause is, but as the illustration above demonstrates, hearing loss can affect your general performance. The deal couldn’t be closed, regrettably. When they thought that the salesperson wasn’t paying attention to them, they went with someone else. They decided to go with a company that listens better.
His commission on this contract would have been over $1000.
It was only a misunderstanding. But that doesn’t change the impact on his career. If he was wearing hearing aids, think about how different things could have been.
Injuries on at work
People who have neglected hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to incur a significant workplace injury according to a study conducted by the American Medical Association. Studies have also revealed a 300% increased chance of having a significant fall and winding up in the emergency room.
And individuals with only minor hearing loss were at the greatest risk, unexpectedly! Maybe they don’t recognize that hearing loss of any kind impairs an individual at work.
Even if you have hearing loss, you can still be successful at work
You have a lot to offer an employer:
Hearing loss shouldn’t dominate these. But it is often a factor. You may not even recognize how big an impact on your job it’s having. Here are a few ways to reduce that impact:
- Before a meeting, ask if you can get a written agenda and outline. It will be easier to follow the conversation.
- Use your hearing aids while you’re at work every day, all the time. If you’re wearing your hearing aids you may not even require many of the accommodations.
- Be aware that you’re not required to disclose that you have hearing loss when you’re interviewing. And the interviewer can’t 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 case.
- Speak up when a task is beyond your abilities. Your boss might, for instance, ask you to go and do some work in an area of the building that can be really loud. Offer to do a different job to make up for it. This way, it never seems like you’re not doing your part.
- When you’re talking to people, make sure you look directly at them. Try to keep phone calls to a minimum.
- Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound goes straight into your ear and not through background noise. In order to utilize this technology you will require a hearing aid that’s appropriate.
- Be certain your work area is well lit. Even if you’re not a lip reader, looking directly at them can help you discern what’s being said.
- Write a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.
Working with hearing loss
Hearing loss can effect your work, even if it’s minor. But lots of the challenges that neglected hearing loss can create will be resolved by getting it treated. Call us today – we can help!