Do you find it frustrating trying to hear important conversations in noisy places?
You get vital information for your personal career and your business through talking and listening. Busy exhibitions and conferences, restaurants, networking events and social gatherings can offer opportunities you have to grab while you have the chance... but often conditions are so noisy it can be a nightmare trying to hear that vital conversation.
If background noise makes it difficult to hear the people you want to hear (colleagues, clients, customers, or competitors) you will also find that you:
have to concentrate harder just to hear;
can't think on your feet as quickly;
can't remember things so well;
feel tired and frustrated more quickly;
may begin to fear you are 'losing your edge'.
This is because your brain is working overtime to isolate your target conversation from the background noise. That directly affects your powers of information-gathering and analysis (see below for the reasons why). You miss vital nuggets, get the wrong end of the stick, or fail to follow up on an opportunity. It's frustrating for you, and for the people around you.
The good news is these difficulties are easy to overcome
simply by learning how to use your hearing more smartly.
And the benefits are incalculable.
Do you know why your hearing matters so much?
Information gaps & mistakes
Noisy places or poor acoustics mean trouble if you have not developed effective strategies. You miss vital information, you make mistakes, you misunderstand things, and as a result you have fewer opportunities to contribute effectively to the business.
Hearing conversations fully means you base decisions on complete and accurate information
When you have to work harder just to hear, you use more of the cognitive processing powers needed for transferring information into short-term memory. This means that even if you pick up the right information at the time, you may later be unable to remember it. Consequently, your decisions and discussions will draw on a faulty recollection of the conversation.
Hearing easily means you can attend to and recall the all the information you need
Fatigue & frustration
Trying to block out distracting background noise is frustrating and exhausting; it can leave you feeling irritable and drained. The energy you have to use just to hear means you have less for other tasks. Fatigue sets in earlier and earlier in the day, and you may begin to dread situations you previously found enjoyable and rewarding.
Learning how to focus effectively in noise releases energy for other work processes
Losing the lead
You have a unique conversational style, a mix of your personality and your business role. As a successful executive, you have already learned how to communicate effectively in different situations. But if you are now struggling to hear well in noise, you have probably developed some unhelpful tactics that will affect your ability to lead the conversation to get the result you want.
Adapting your personal communication style for noise will restore your conversational power
Performance and productivity decline
When you begin to find noisy places difficult, you set off a chain of unintended consequences. You may start to lose your confidence; others may start to leave you out or overlook your contributions. The truth is, you are as capable as ever of processing and analysing information, but as your ability to hear well in noise drops your contributions and decisions risk becoming less relevant and effective.
When you realise that these problems are caused simply by the way you handle background noise, you can act quickly to resolve the issue before it becomes a major problem
Absenteeism and early exit - everybody loses
If you are missing opportunities, feeling increasingly tired at the end of the day, and beginning to dread situations that previously energised you, the scene is set for a downward spiral. If you are accustomed to being on top of your game, this is not comfortable. Too often, the end result is gradual withdrawal and sometimes premature exit from the business.
For you, this is a waste of of your skills, talents and potential. For a large company, your valuable expertise and experience is lost, not to mention the significant HR costs (in both finance and time) of replacing you. For a small business, it could spell the end of the dream.
Recognising that the source of these problems - hearing in noise - is easily remedied means your career is back on track and the business retains your skills and experience.
your needs and situations
How do I know about hearing?
knowledge | experience | networks
For 30 years, I worked with adults rebuilding their lives after losing some or all of their hearing. I met so many people who had given up careers they loved and were good at, just because they hadn't been taught the right tricks of the hearing/ communication trade. When equipped with these new skills and knowledge, many not only returned to but went on to excel in successful careers.
This led me to three key insights:
our hearing matters so much more than we think - for everything, everywhere
the right communication strategies, knowledge and technology can overcome most hearing barriers
few people discover these solutions without help.
I began to see that the solutions that work so well for people with hearing loss can also work for people with normal hearing who struggle in unfavourable acoustic conditions. So I put together the Hearing Partners Training Programme to prevent the loss of talent and personal satisfaction that is happening in our increasingly noisy world.
My contacts in the hearing industries keep me up-to-date with the incredible technologies available today, both specialised and mainstream. The possibilities for enhancing normal hearing are amazing - and often inexpensive or free.
To explore whether this Programme can help you
(or perhaps a colleague),
contact me for an informal no-commitment conversation
Dr Lorraine Gailey
BSSc, PhD, DipCCS, DipIoD, ILM 7 Coach & Mentor