While hearing loss has become more common in Houston and throughout the country, it still has some lingering stigma. One of the places it is often overlooked is in the workplace.
Some workers try to hide their condition when they first start at a new company. This only makes things harder. Your Houston audiologist recommends being honest and upfront with your employer and your coworkers. Some experts even recommend letting the interviewer know at the time of your interview.
Once you get the job, there are many things you can do to make your working environment better.
Make Meetings Better
Meetings can be stressful with or without hearing loss. For those with hearing loss, a little preparation can go a long way.
- Read the minutes from the last meeting and the agenda for the upcoming meeting. This will ensure you know what topics will be discussed and help you better follow the conversation.
- Request any special equipment you may need, like am amplifier or a hearing loop, ahead of time. If you can, check to make sure everything is working before the meeting starts.
- If possible, suggest that the meeting be held at a round table instead of a rectangular one. This will ensure you can see every employee’s face while they speak.
- Propose implementing a rule that requires everyone to raise their hand before speaking. This will help you identify who is speaking so you can turn toward them before they start talking.
Additional Conversation Tips
Outside of official meetings, a lot of workplace communication is one-on-one. Your Houston audiologist recommends providing your coworkers with a few tips on how to successfully communicate with you.
- Face-to-face conversations in quiet areas are best.
- Always get your attention first before speaking.
- They should speak clearly and resist the urge to yell.
- They should not hide their faces when speaking. This means they should not try to have a conversation while eating, drinking, chewing gum or smoking.
Working with hearing loss is very doable. You just have to be patient and understand that it takes your coworkers a little while to get the hang of it, as long as you are open and honest about what you need from them. For more tips and tricks on how to manage the workplace with hearing loss contact your local Houston audiologist.