Communicating with an individual who has difficulty hearing can be frustrating for everybody, even if that person wears hearing aids. By following a few important communication strategies, you can improve the effectiveness of your conversation. The following tips should help.
- Maintain eye contact. Look the person you are speaking with directly in the eye, so you will have their full attention and they can concentrate on understanding you better.
- Speak slowly and clearly. Do not shout! This only makes it more difficult to understand what you are saying. Take your time, and pause between sentences to make sure you are understood.
- Do not hide your face behind your hands. Visual cues are an important component of the communication process, and many individuals with hearing loss rely on lip reading to assist with comprehension.
- Seek a quiet place to talk. Background noise is distracting, and can lead to an inability to concentrate.
- Repeat yourself if needed. If the hearing-impaired individual doesn’t understand what you are saying, use a different word or phrase to convey your message.
- Write down any important information. This ensures no key points will be lost.
- Pay attention to your listener. If he/she seems confused, make an effort to clarify your words.