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

Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

Just picture for a minute you’re a salesperson. Today, you’re on a very important call with a potential client. Multiple agents from their offices have come together to talk about whether to employ your business for the job. As the call continues, voices go up and down…and are sometimes 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 cranking up the volume. So you just read between the lines the best you can. You’ve become pretty good at that.

As you try to listen, the voices sound specifically muffled for around a minute. This is the point where the potential client asks “so exactly how will your company help us solve this?””

You freeze. You didn’t catch the last few minutes and aren’t certain what issue they’re attempting to solve. Your boss is counting on you to seal this deal. What do you do?

Should you admit you didn’t hear them and ask them to reprise what they said? They might think you weren’t paying attention. What about resorting to some slick sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.

Every single day, people everywhere are dealing with situations like this at work. Oftentimes, they try to pretend they’re okay and wing it.

But how is neglected hearing loss really impacting your work as a whole? Let’s see.

Lower wages

A representative sampling of 80,000 people was collected by The Better Hearing Institute utilizing the same method that the Census Bureau uses.

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

That doesn’t seem fair!

Hearing loss effects your general performance so it’s not difficult to understand the above example. The deal couldn’t be closed, unfortunately. When they got the impression that the salesperson wasn’t listening to them, they pulled out. They didn’t want to deal with a company that doesn’t listen.

His commission on this deal would have been more than $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 the job

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 danger of ending up in the emergency room after a significant fall increases by 300% according to other studies.

And people with only mild hearing loss were at the greatest risk, surprisingly! Maybe they don’t realize that hearing loss of any type impairs an individual at work.

How to have a prosperous career with hearing loss

You have so much to offer an employer:

  • Personality
  • Empathy
  • Skills
  • Confidence
  • Experience

Hearing loss shouldn’t dominate these. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor. It could be having an effect on your job more than you realize. Take measures to minimize the impact like:

  • Be aware that you’re not required to reveal that you have hearing loss during an interview. And it isn’t okay for the interviewer to ask. Conversely, you may need to think about if your neglected hearing loss will impact your ability to have a successful interview. In that case, you may choose to disclose this before the interview.
  • So that you have it in writing, it’s a good plan to draft up a sincere accommodations letter for your boss.
  • Never disregard using 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.
  • Look directly at people when you’re conversing with them. Try not to have phone conversations as much as you can.
  • Ask for a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound doesn’t go through background noise but instead goes straight into your ear. You will require hearing aids that are compatible with this technology to use one.
  • Speak up when a task is beyond your abilities. For instance, your boss might want you to cover for someone who works in a really loud part of the building. In order to make up for it, offer to take on a different task. If you do that, your boss won’t think you’re coping out.
  • Keep a brightly lit work area. Even if you’re not a lip reader, being able to see them can help you understand what’s being said.
  • Before a meeting, ask if you can get a written agenda and outline. It will be easier to keep up with the discussion.

Working with hearing loss

Even if you have minor hearing loss, it can still effect your work performance. But getting it treated will frequently get rid of any barriers you face with neglected hearing impairment. We can help so give us a call!

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.