I am severely hearing impaired and it was not detected until I was 12 years old.
So what do I know about communication and how can it help you get the most from your workday?
Finding ways to communicate well was a daily challenge.
I learned to read lips so well that I had deceived the education system, my teachers my parents and myself. I learned at an early age to it was important to get information and process it in order to get ahead and do well.
Once my disability was diagnosed it changed things for me. I then had to make others aware that I was hearing impaired and that they had to play a part in my getting the information I needed. In order to get the message across to others I had to relay to them what it was like to be hearing impaired. I had to show them different ways they could best help me in various situations.
I learned a lot about communication that I can share with you. Information needs to be handled carefully for everyone not just hearing impaired people. Its a very essential part of any experience and the more you know about it the more power you can wield and the more satisfaction you get from your job. Let me illustrate.
1. Present Ideas in More than One Way
One of the very important points to communication with a hearing impaired person is to say one sentence in different ways. Sometimes due to background noise or the acoustics of the area a word or words is not recognizable.
So speaking the idea in different ways can help to get the idea across very quickly. Let’s say you are a nurse…a good example would be to ask: “Did you take your medication today?
Another word for medication is pills “Did you take your pills today? or name the medication and ask the question. By asking the question in different ways a word will sound familiar and the subject matter can be identified. This also helps when addressing hearing people as well.
You can also present an idea in different ways that makes it easier to people to understand and remember what you said. An example would be to highlight the positive aspects of a business proposal. This is very effective as the point is taken and the receiver can address the issue with confidence.
2. Be Sensitive to Learning Styles
In the education system we present material in different ways to ensure all learning styles are covered. Some people receive material best when they can see it, some when they hear it, and some when they experience it.
You can write the information, verbalize it and summarize it in a Post-it note. This is effective because it covers all the possible learning styles to ensure proper transfer of the information. It also allows for clarification by asking questions. You can ensure all information has been received by double-checking at the end of the day.
In my job as a Dental Hygienist… It can sometimes be very noisy and busy. So to ensure referrals and other important client details have been addressed I will go back and look through my notes again to make sure I didn’t miss anything.
3. Listen with Intent
I love my career choice as a Dental Hygienist. The satisfaction comes from listening to my clients with a clear mind as they update me since their last visit.
Make people feel they are important to you by listening carefully to their updates. Let your co workers/clients know you heard them by addressing their concerns or questions. Rephrase what you have heard. This is a very powerful tactic in communication because people like being around people who are good listeners.
Being fully present as you listen to someone isn’t easy, but a worthwhile skill to improve your relationships at work and at home.
I know you will get more from your workday with these easy communication ideas. Managers, leaders and coworkers will see you as trustworthy and competent as you put these ideas into practice.
Be thorough in your explanations taking into account various personalities and work styles. Be sensitive to how people process information and you will cover all the angles to ensure others understand you. Finally listen with intent and you too will learn from others thus creating more satisfaction from your workday.
How do you handle communication in your work setting so everything is clear and easy to understand? I would love to learn from you.
Author bio: Jeanie Bavis believes that when we get a glimpse of our power we should be compelled to share it with others. You can read and learn more over at Self-Improvement Design to explore her perspective. You can also find her on Facebook page and Twitter handle @lifeaidecoach.