Posted on: September 22, 2015

Summer is wrapping up, and for most of us that means getting back into the full swing of things at work. This can be difficult environment for those with hearing loss. For example, misunderstandings may occur if colleagues are not heard, or it may be difficult to follow along in meetings. However, with a few adjustments, communication can be made easier. Following are some tips for improving communication at work.

If you are hard of hearing, let your colleagues know. Also discuss with them how they can adjust their behavior to make communication easier, such as getting your attention before starting the conversation or letting them know to speak into your ‘better’ ear if your hearing is better in one versus the other.

Discuss your needs with your employer. They should be able to accommodate you wherever possible, such as by providing a work space with minimal background noise or by providing a written meeting agenda so that it is easier to follow along.

If you are a colleague of someone who is hard of hearing there are steps you can take to help. First, get the hard of hearing person’s attention before you start a conversation. Also, make sure they can easily see your face; for those with hearing loss, seeing your facial cues and lip movement makes understanding you easier. Move to a location with as little background noise as possible. If you are not understood, try rephrasing what you are saying and speak clearly, but do not exaggerate or yell.

Follow these tips to maintain healthy communication in the workplace.