By: Dr. Sarah Pitrone, Au.D., CH-TM
Fall is here and holiday gatherings are right around the corner. As family gatherings, Friendsgiving and office Christmas parties commence, hearing in crowds can be challenging, anxiety-producing and downright frustrating. In addition to using hearing technology, these effective communication strategies can turn a social gathering from isolating to enjoyable by giving you as many listening advantages as possible. Share these better communication tips with your loved ones so they can help keep the conversation flowing.
Effective Communication Strategies for Someone with Hearing Loss
1. Rephrase Don’t Repeat
Ask speakers to rephrase what they’ve said rather than repeat. This often feels less frustrating and will provide a different opportunity to understand key words. For example. “I heard you say something about traveling over the holidays, but I missed that last part. Can you elaborate for me?”
2. Face the Speaker
Direct eye contact is critical for communication. Visible body language and facial expressions significantly increase the likelihood of good communication.
3. Not Too Fast, Not Too Slow
Speak in an even, steady voice at a moderate speed. While speaking slowly seems helpful it distorts speech and makes conversation difficult to follow. The same is true for shouting louder – is not always clearer.
4. Use Short Sentences
Short, simple sentences contain less information and help the listener process information more easily.
5. Reduce Noise and Distractions
Whenever possible, find a quiet space or reduce background noise. Communication is always easier when there is less competing noise.
Tips and Tricks for Optimal Hearing Device Performance
To better improve your Bluetooth connection, make sure to turn your phone on and off at least once a week. It works wonders!
Do you have a weak sounding device? Check for wax or debris in domes and filters and change them every 30-60 days. Those are usually the culprits!
Q-Tips are for cleaning… but not your ears! They push wax deeper into the ear canal and make it harder to remove. Instead, ask your Audiologist which wax removal drops they recommend using between your follow-up appointment(s).
Pass these effective communication strategies along to a loved one.
Share these insights with your loved ones, making the holiday season a time for festive merriment and meaningful connections. By implementing these effective communication strategies, we can transform potentially isolating moments into opportunities for shared understanding, laughter, and joy. We wish you a season filled with warmth, connection, and joy from genuinely hearing and being heard. Cheers to a holiday season where communication flows effortlessly, making every shared moment memorable.