Imagine for a minute you’re a salesperson. Today, you’re on a very important call with a possible client. Numerous representatives from their offices have come together to discuss whether to employ your company for the job. As the call continues, voices rise and fall…and are sometimes hard to hear. But you’re getting most of it.
And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you keep turning up the volume. So you simply do your best, interpreting what’s being said the best you can. You’re really good at that.
There comes a point in the discussion where things become particularly hard 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 resolve. Your boss is counting on you to close this deal. What can you do?
Should you confess 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, they’ll see right through that.
Individuals go through situations like this every day when they are at work. They try to read between the lines and cope.
But how is neglected hearing loss really affecting 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!
We could dig deep to attempt to figure out what the cause is, but as the illustration above shows, hearing loss can affect your overall performance. Unfortunately, he didn’t close the deal. When they thought that the salesperson wasn’t paying attention to them, they pulled out. They decided to go with a company that listens better.
His commission on this deal would have been more than $1000.
It was only a misunderstanding. But how do you think this affected his career? How might things have been different if he were using his hearing aids?
People who have neglected hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to incur a significant on-the-job injury according to a study conducted by the American Medical Association. Studies have also revealed a 300% increased risk of having a serious fall and winding up in the emergency room.
And it might come as a surprise that people with minor hearing loss had the highest chance among those who have hearing loss. Perhaps they don’t realize that hearing loss of any kind impairs an individual at work.
Even if you have hearing loss, you can still have a successful career
You have a lot to offer an employer:
Hearing loss shouldn’t overshadow these. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor. You may not even recognize how big an effect on your job it’s having. Here are some ways to reduce that impact:
- Keep a brightly lit work space. Being able to see lips can help you follow even if you’re not a lip reader.
- Write a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. This way, you have it in writing.
- Request a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound doesn’t go through background noise but instead goes directly into your ear. In order to use this technology you will require a hearing aid that’s appropriate.
- Face people when you’re talking to them. Try not to have phone conversations as much as possible.
- Be aware that you aren’t required to divulge that you have hearing loss during an interview. And the interviewer can’t ask. Conversely, you might need to consider if your untreated hearing loss will impact your ability to interview well. In that case, you might choose to divulge this before the interview.
- Before a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and outline. Conversations will be easier to keep up with.
- Use your hearing aids while you’re at work every day, all the time. When you do this, many of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
- Speak up when a job is beyond your abilities. Your boss may, for example, ask you to go and do some work in an area of the building that can be very noisy. Offer to do a different job to make up for it. That way, it will never seem as if you’re not doing your part.
Hearing loss at work
Even if you have slight hearing loss, it can still impact your performance at work. But lots of the challenges that neglected hearing loss can pose will be solved by having it treated. We can help so call us!