Just picture for a minute you’re a salesperson. Today, you’re having a very important call with a potential client. Multiple agents from their offices have come together to talk about whether to employ your company for the job. As the call proceeds, voices rise and fall…and are at times hard to hear. But you’re getting most of it.
Cranking up the speaker just makes it sound more distorted. So you just do your best at filling in the blanks. You’ve become fairly 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 says “so exactly how will your firm help us solve this?””
You freeze. You didn’t catch the last few minutes and aren’t certain what issue they’re trying to solve. Your boss is depending on you to close this deal. What do you do?
Should you confess you didn’t hear them and ask them to repeat what they said? They’ll think you were distracted. What about relying on some slippery sales jargon? No, that will be too obvious.
People go through scenarios 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 affected by your hearing loss? The following can help us find out.
The Better Hearing Institute questioned 80,000 people using the same technique the Census Bureau uses to get a representative sampling.
They found that people who have untreated hearing loss make about $12,000 less per year than those who can hear.
That doesn’t seem fair!
We could dig deep to try to figure out what the cause is, but as the illustration above demonstrates, hearing loss can affect your overall performance. Unfortunately, he didn’t close the deal. Everything was going excellently until the client thought he wasn’t paying attention to them. They decided to go with a company that listens better.
His commission on this deal would have been over $1000.
It was only a misunderstanding. But how do you think this impacted 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 discovered that people with neglected hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to have a significant work accident. And, your danger of ending up in the emergency room after a significant fall goes up by 300% according to other studies.
And people with only mild hearing loss were at the greatest risk, surprisingly! Perhaps they don’t grasp that hearing loss of any type 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 overshadow these. But it is frequently a factor. You might not even realize how great an effect on your job it’s having. Take actions to lessen the impact like:
- Be aware that you’re not required to disclose that you have hearing loss during an interview. And it’s not okay for the interviewer to ask. However, you may need to consider if your untreated hearing loss will affect your ability to interview well. In that case, you may choose to reveal this before the interview.
- Speak up when a task surpasses your abilities. For example, your boss might want you to cover for someone who works in a really loud part of the building. So that you can make up for it, offer to undertake a different task. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re just trying to get out of doing work.
- Make sure your work area is brightly lit. Even if you don’t read lips, looking directly at them can help you understand what’s being said.
- Asking for a written outline/agenda before attending a meeting. It will be easier to follow the conversation.
- Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound goes straight into your ear instead of through background noise. You will require hearing aids that will work with this technology to use one.
- Face people when you’re speaking with them. Try not to have phone conversations as much as you can.
- Compose a respectful accommodations letter to your boss. This way, you have it in writing.
- Never disregard wearing your hearing aids while you’re working and all of the rest of the time. When you do this, many of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
Working with hearing loss
Hearing loss can effect your work, even if it’s minor. But getting it treated will often eliminate any obstacles you face with untreated hearing loss. We can help so give us a call!