You Might be Missing a Lot if You’re Having Trouble Hearing at Work

Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

Imagine for a minute you’re a salesperson. Today, you’re having a very important call with a possible client. Numerous representatives from their offices have come together to discuss whether to employ your business for the job. As the call continues, voices rise and fall…and are at times difficult to hear. But you’re fairly sure you got the gist of it.

And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you continue turning up the volume. So you just read between the lines the best you can. You’ve become pretty good at that.

There comes a point in the discussion where things become particularly difficult to hear. This is the stage where the potential client says “so precisely 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 attempting to resolve. Your boss is depending on you to seal this deal. So now what?

Do you request they repeat themselves? They’ll think you were distracted. What about relying on some slippery sales jargon? No, that will be too obvious.

Every single day, individuals everywhere go through scenarios like this at work. Oftentimes, 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 will help us find out.

Lower wages

The Better Hearing Institute surveyed 80,000 people utilizing the same approach the Census Bureau uses to get a representative sampling.

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

Hey, that isn’t fair!

Hearing loss impacts your general performance so it isn’t difficult to understand the above example. Unfortunately, he didn’t close the deal. Everything was going very well until the client thought he wasn’t listening to them. They didn’t want to work with a firm that doesn’t listen.

He missed out on a commission of $1000.

It was only a misunderstanding. But that doesn’t change the effect on his career. How might things have been different if he were using his hearing aids?

Injuries on at work

Individuals who have neglected hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to sustain a significant on-the-job injury according to a study carried out by the American Medical Association. And, your danger 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 highest risk, unexpectedly! Perhaps, their hearing loss is minor enough that they don’t even know about it.

Even if you have hearing loss, you can still have a successful career

Your employer has a great deal to gain from you:

  • Personality
  • Skills
  • Experience
  • Empathy
  • Confidence

Hearing loss shouldn’t dominate these. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a factor. It could be having an effect on your job more than you know. Here are a few ways to reduce that impact:

  • Look directly at people when you’re conversing with them. Try not to have phone conversations as much as possible.
  • Never disregard wearing your hearing aids at work and all of the rest of the time. If you’re wearing your hearing aids you might not even require many of the accommodations.
  • Asking for a written overview/agenda before attending a meeting. Discussions will be easier to keep up with.
  • Know that you’re not required to reveal that you have hearing loss during an interview. And the interviewer may not ask. But the other side is whether your hearing loss will have an effect on your ability to have a successful interview. You will most likely need to inform the interviewer of your condition if that’s the situation.
  • Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound goes straight into your ear instead of through background noise. In order to utilize this technology you will require a hearing aid that’s appropriate.
  • Write a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.
  • Keep a well lit work area. Even if you don’t read lips, looking directly at them can help you understand what’s being said.
  • Speak up when a task is beyond your abilities. For instance, your boss might ask you to cover for somebody who works in a noisy part of the building. Offer to do a different job to make up for it. This way, it never seems like you aren’t doing your part.

Working with hearing loss

Hearing loss can effect your work, even if it’s slight. But many of the challenges that neglected hearing loss can pose will be solved by having it treated. Give us a call today – we can help!

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.