When you have a hearing loss, a hearing aid is a great tool to improve your hearing. However, sometimes it isn’t as simple as just wearing a hearing aid. Your brain needs to re-learn how to listen and understand things again because when a hearing loss is left untreated, it becomes so difficult for the brain that it develops poor listening skills. To regain your listening skills with hearing aids, it can require attention and concentration.
Here are some communication techniques that will help you transition into the best listener possible.
- Be assertive
- Make your communication partner aware of your hearing loss from the beginning – don’t hide your hearing loss
- Ask them to face you directly when talking
- Ask them to speak clear and slow down
- Tell them how to best talk to you
- Make environmental modifications
- Pick a quiet location in a restaurant or party (away from the band, kitchen, large group)
- Pick a well lit location
- Pick a quieter restaurant
- Verify what you think you heard
- If you only heard part of the conversation, repeat back that part you heard so your communication partner only needs to repeat the part that was missed
- Pay attention to the speaker
- Listen with your eyes and your ears
- Focus on the speaker, watch facial expressions
- Pay attention to situational and interpersonal cues
- Prepare for the communication event in advance
- Ask for accommodations prior to an event (specific tables, reduce the background music, by a window or well-lit area)
- Read the menu prior to visiting a restaurant
- Do not bluff
- Your conversation will be more enjoyable for you and your communication partner if you are up front when a communication break-down occurs
It is important to understand that even individuals with normal hearing can have trouble understanding conversation in certain environments. Therefore, set realistic goals when it comes to communication in difficult environments. If you wish to learn more about communication techniques, contact our clinic for an appointment.