Can’t Hear Well While You’re Working? You Might be Missing More Than You Know

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. Your company is being looked at for a job and several people from your business have gathered on a conference call. As the call continues, voices go up and down…and are at times hard to hear. But you’re fairly certain you got the gist of it.

Cranking up the speaker just makes it sound more distorted. So you simply make do, reading between the lines. You’re really good at that.

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

You panic. You didn’t hear the last few minutes and aren’t sure what issue they’re trying to solve. Your boss is depending on you to close this deal. What do you do?

Should you acknowledge you didn’t hear them and ask them to reprise what they said? They may think you weren’t paying attention. Do you start using a lot of sales jargon? No, that will be too conspicuous.

Every single day, people everywhere are dealing with situations like this while working. Sometimes, they try to pretend they’re fine and wing it.

So in general, how is your work being impacted by your hearing loss? The following can help us find out.

Unequal pay

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

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

That doesn’t seem fair!

We could dig deep to try to figure out what the cause is, but as the illustration above demonstrates, hearing loss can affect your overall performance. The deal couldn’t be closed, unfortunately. 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 over $1000.

It was only a misunderstanding. But that doesn’t change the impact on his career. If he was wearing hearing aids, imagine how different things might have been.

Injuries on the job

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

And it might come as a shock that people with minor hearing loss had the highest danger among those with hearing loss. Perhaps they don’t recognize that hearing loss of any kind impairs an individual at work.

How to have a successful career with hearing loss

Your employer has a lot to gain from you:

  • Empathy
  • Skills
  • Personality
  • Experience
  • Confidence

Hearing loss shouldn’t dominate these. But it is often a factor. It could be having an effect on your job more than you know. Here are a few ways to reduce that impact:

  • Be aware that you’re not required to divulge that you have hearing loss when you’re interviewing. And the interviewer may not ask. However, you might need to consider if your neglected hearing loss will affect your ability to have a successful interview. In that case, you might choose to divulge this before the interview.
  • Write a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.
  • Look directly at people when you’re talking to them. Try not to talk on the phone as much as you can.
  • Request a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound goes straight into your ear instead of through background noise. You will require hearing aids that will work with this technology to use one.
  • Speak up when a task is beyond your abilities. For instance, your boss might ask you to cover for someone who works in a noisy part of the building. Offer to do something else to make up for it. This way, it will never seem as if you’re not doing your part.
  • Asking for a written outline/agenda before attending a meeting. Discussions will be easier to keep up with.
  • Never neglect using your hearing aids at work and all of the rest of the time. When you do, many of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
  • Keep a well lit work space. Being able to see lips can help you follow along even if you don’t read lips.

Working with hearing loss

Hearing loss can impact your work, even if it’s slight. But getting it treated will often get rid of any obstacles you face with neglected hearing loss. Contact 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.