Communication in the presence of hearing loss can be difficult—for both parties. For those with hearing loss, limited hearing can be upsetting and exhausting, and for their conversation partners, the constant repeating can be just as taxing.
But the challenge can be lessened provided that both parties take responsibility for productive conversation. Since communication is a two-way process, the two parties should work together to overcome the challenges of hearing loss.
Listed below are some helpful tips for effective communication.
If you have hearing loss:
Bear in mind that people are normally empathetic, but only when you make an effort to explain your position. If your communication partner is advised of your challenges and preferences, they’re much less likely to become agitated when communication is disrupted.
If your communication partner has hearing loss:
When communication breaks down, it’s easy to pin the blame on the other person, but that’s the wrong approach.
Consider John and Mary. John has hearing loss and Mary has average hearing, and they are having significant communication problems. John is convinced Mary is insensitive to his hearing loss and Mary believes John is using his hearing loss as a reason to be inattentive.
Instead, what if John found tactics to enhance his listening skills, and provided tips for Mary to communicate better? Simultaneously, what if Mary did the same and attempted to find ways that she could communicate more clearly.
Now, both John and Mary are accepting responsibility for their own communication and are not blaming the other person for the problems. This is the only way to better communication.
Do you have any communication guidelines you’d like to include? Tell us in a comment.