Can’t Hear Well at Work? You Might be Missing More Than You Think

Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

For just a moment, imagine that you’re working as a salesperson. Now picture that you have a call scheduled today with a really valuable client. Numerous agents from their offices have gathered to talk about whether to hire your company for the job. All of the various voices get a little garbled and difficult to understand. But you’re fairly certain you got the gist of it.

Turning the speaker up just makes it sound more distorted. So you just do your best at filling in the blanks. You’re really good at that.

As you try to listen, the voices sound particularly muffled for around a minute. Then all of a sudden you hear, “so what can your company do to help us with this”?”

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

Should you confess you didn’t hear them and ask them to reprise what they said? They’ll think you were distracted. What about relying on some slick sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.

Every single day, people everywhere go through scenarios like this while working. They attempt to read between the lines and get by.

So in general, how is your work being impacted by your hearing loss? Let’s find out.

Lower wages

A representative sampling of 80,000 people was obtained by The Better Hearing Institute using the same technique that the Census Bureau uses.

They found that people who have untreated hearing loss earn about $12,000 less per year than people who can hear.

Hey, that’s not fair!

We could dig deep to attempt to find out what the cause is, but as the illustration above shows, hearing loss can impact your overall performance. The deal couldn’t be closed, sadly. Everything was going great until the client thought he wasn’t paying attention to them. They didn’t want to deal with a company that doesn’t listen.

His commission on this contract would have been more than $1000.

It was just a misunderstanding. But that doesn’t change the impact on his career. If he was using hearing aids, think about how different things may have been.

Workplace Injuries

A study reported in the Journal of The American Medical Association discovered that individuals with untreated hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to have a significant work accident. And, your risk of ending up in the emergency room after a serious fall increases by 300% according to other research.

And it may come as a shock that people with mild hearing loss had the highest danger among those who have hearing loss. Maybe they don’t grasp that hearing loss of any type impairs an individual at work.

How to have a prosperous career with hearing loss

Your employer has a great deal to gain from you:

  • Skills
  • Personality
  • Confidence
  • Experience
  • Empathy

These positive attributes shouldn’t be overshadowed by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor. You may not even realize how huge an effect on your job it’s having. Here are some ways to lessen that impact:

  • Ask for a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound doesn’t pass through background noise but rather goes straight into your ear. You will require hearing aids that are compatible with this technology to use one.
  • Look directly at people when you’re speaking with them. Try not to talk on the phone as much as you can.
  • Be certain your work space is well lit. Even if you’re not a lip reader, being able to see them can help you understand what’s being said.
  • Be aware that you aren’t required to divulge that you have hearing loss during an interview. And the interviewer can’t ask. But the other consideration is whether your hearing loss will have an effect on your ability to have a successful interview. In that situation, you might decide to reveal this before the interview.
  • Compose a respectful accommodations letter to your boss. This way, you have it in writing.
  • Before a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and overview. Discussions will be easier to follow.
  • If a job is going to be beyond your capability you need to speak up. For example, your boss may want you to cover for someone who works in a really loud area. Offer to do something else to make up for it. This way, it never seems as if you aren’t doing your part.
  • Never neglect wearing 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.

Working with hearing loss

Even if you have minor hearing loss, it can still impact your work performance. But many of the obstacles that untreated hearing loss can create will be resolved by getting it treated. We can help so contact us!

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.

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