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

Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

Imagine for a minute you’re a salesperson. Today, you’re on a very important call with a possible client. Numerous agents from their offices have come together to discuss whether to hire your company for the job. All of the various voices get a little jumbled and hard to comprehend. 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 simply do your best, reading between the lines. You’re quite good at that.

As you listen, the voices sound particularly muffled for about a minute. This is the point where the potential client says “so exactly how will your company help us solve this?””

You panic. You have no idea what their company’s problem is because you didn’t catch the last part of the discussion. This is your contract and your boss is counting on you. So now what?

Should you acknowledge you didn’t hear them and ask them to reprise what they said? They’ll think you were distracted. Do you start using a lot of sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.

Every single day, people everywhere are dealing with scenarios like this while working. Oftentimes, they try to pretend they’re okay and wing it.

But how is neglected hearing loss really affecting your work in general? The following can help us find out.

Lower wages

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

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

Hey, that’s not fair!

We could dig deep to attempt to figure out what the cause is, but as the example above shows, hearing loss can impact your general performance. The deal couldn’t be closed, regrettably. Everything was going very well until the client thought he wasn’t paying attention to them. They didn’t want to work with a firm that doesn’t listen.

He missed out on a commission of $1000.

The situation was misinterpreted. But how do you think this impacted his career? How may things have been different if he were wearing his hearing aids?

Injuries on at work

A study revealed in the Journal of The American Medical Association discovered that individuals with untreated hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to have a significant work accident. Studies also show a 300% increased risk of having a significant fall and ending up in the emergency room.

And it may come as a surprise that individuals with mild hearing loss had the highest chance among those who have hearing loss. Maybe, their hearing loss is minor enough that they don’t even know about it.

Even if you have hearing loss, you can still be successful at work

You have so much to offer an employer:

  • Confidence
  • Empathy
  • Skills
  • Personality
  • Experience

Hearing loss shouldn’t overshadow these. But it is frequently a factor. You might not even know how huge an impact on your job it’s having. Take steps to reduce the impact like:

  • Be certain your work area is brightly lit. Seeing lips can help you follow along even if you’re not a lip reader.
  • In order to have it in writing, it’s not a bad plan to draft up a respectful accommodations letter for your boss.
  • If a task is going to surpass your capability you need to speak up. Your boss might, for example, ask you to go and do some work in an area of the building that can be very loud. In order to make up for it, offer to take on a different task. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re coping out.
  • Never neglect using your hearing aids at work and all of the rest of the time. If you have your hearing aids in you may not even need many of the accommodations.
  • Requesting a written outline/agenda before a meeting. It will be easier to follow the discussion.
  • Request a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound doesn’t pass through background noise but instead goes straight into your ear. You will need hearing aids that are compatible with this technology to use one.
  • Know that you’re not required to divulge that you have hearing loss during an interview. And the interviewer may not ask. However, you may need to consider if your untreated hearing loss will affect your ability to have a successful interview. In that case, you might choose to disclose this before the interview.
  • Look directly at people when you’re talking to them. Try not to talk on the phone as much as possible.

Hearing loss at work

Even if you have slight hearing loss, it can still impact your performance at work. But having it treated will often minimize any barriers you face with neglected hearing loss. Call us 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.

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