Can’t Hear Very Well While You’re Working? You May be Missing More Than You Think

Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

Imagine for a minute you’re a salesperson. Now picture that you have a call scheduled today with a very important client. Numerous agents from their offices have gathered to discuss whether to hire your business for the job. As the call proceeds, voices rise and fall…and are sometimes difficult to hear. But you’re hearing most of it.

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

There comes a point in the conversation where things become particularly difficult to hear. This is the point where the potential client asks “so precisely how will your company help us solve this?””

You panic. You didn’t catch the last few minutes and aren’t certain what issue they’re trying to resolve. Your boss is counting on you to close this deal. So now what?

Should you confess you didn’t hear them and ask them to repeat what they said? They’ll think you were distracted. Do you start using a lot of sales jargon? No, that will be too conspicuous.

People go through situations like this every day when they are at work. They attempt to read between the lines and cope.

But how is untreated hearing loss actually impacting your work in general? The following will help us find out.

Lower wages

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

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

Hey, that isn’t fair!

We could dig deep to try to figure out what the cause is, but as the illustration above shows, hearing loss can affect your overall performance. The deal couldn’t be closed, sadly. When they got the impression that the salesperson wasn’t listening to them, they went with someone else. They decided to go with a company that listens better.

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

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

Injuries on the job

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

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

How to have a prosperous career with hearing loss

You have a lot to offer an employer:

  • Experience
  • Skills
  • Personality
  • Confidence
  • Empathy

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

  • Understand that during a job interview, you’re not required to divulge that you have hearing loss. And it isn’t okay for the interviewer to ask. However, you might need to think about if your neglected hearing loss will impact your ability to interview well. You will most likely need to make the interviewer aware of your condition if that’s the situation.
  • Asking for a written outline/agenda before attending a meeting. Discussions will be easier to keep up with.
  • Look directly at people when you’re speaking with them. Try to keep phone calls to a minimum.
  • Keep a well lit work area. Seeing lips can help you follow along even if you don’t read lips.
  • Compose a respectful accommodations letter to your boss. This way, you have it in writing.
  • Wear your hearing aids at work every day, at all times. When you do, lots of of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
  • Request 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 need hearing aids that will work with this technology to use one.
  • If a job is going to surpass your capability you need to speak up. Your boss might, for instance, ask you to go and do some work in an area of the building that can be very loud. Offer to do a different job to make up for it. This way, it never seems as if you’re not doing your part.

Hearing loss at work

Even if you have slight hearing loss, it can still effect your work performance. But lots of the obstacles that neglected hearing loss can present will be solved by having it treated. We can help so call 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.