How to Communicate Better Over the Holidays
Do you have concerns about how to handle your hearing loss over the holiday season? How will it affect your communication with your friends and family members? We have tips for you on how to communicate better over the holidays!
With COVID-19, we realize some people are postponing their holidays or trying out alternative holiday celebrations. That’s why our tips include advice for communicating over the phone and through voice and video chat during the holiday season!
Enjoy our tips on how to communicate better over the 2020 holidays below!
Maintain eye contact and a visual of your conversation partner
Whether you’re sitting across the table from your loved one or video chatting from across the country, maintaining eye contact and a visual of the other person during the conversation can help you better understand what they’re saying. If you focus on your friend or loved one’s face, you can also follow along with their facial expressions and nonverbal cues, which can improve your ability to understand words and sentences.
A persons’ body language and nonverbal communication can add a lot to the conversation! For that reason, we recommend a video chat instead of a phone call if you are conversing from afar. If you must converse over the phone, try to avoid using your phone’s speaker. Speakers on phones can cut in and out and cause confusion in conversations.
If you are visiting together in person, it helps to sit in an area with good lighting where you can both see each other clearly. Try to pick a quiet spot for one-on-one conversations. If you’re video chatting, also make sure you have good lighting on both sides of the call!
Actively listen during conversations
Active listening is always important for effective communication. Good communication requires your full attention as well as the full attention of your conversation partner.
For that reason, you should pay attention to what your conversation partner is saying without engaging in other activities. For example, if you’re together in the same room, don’t browse your smartphone or play with your grandchild while you’re trying to have a conversation with someone. And if you are video chatting or talking on the phone, don’t try to carry on the conversation while cooking dinner or doing other tasks!
Keep your focus on the exchange between you and your loved one.
Talk slowly and clearly and ask your conversation to do the same
When you are talking, enunciate each word clearly and ask your loved one to do the same. This will help with understanding on both sides. Also, try not to speak too fast. If you are talking quickly, your words may become garbled and hard to understand.
Maintain a steady and clear conversation for the best communication.
Minimize background noise whenever possible
It is especially difficult for people with hearing loss to understand others when there is a lot of background noise. If you are together in the same house or at a family gathering, try to avoid having a one-on-one conversation at the noisy dinner table or in the family room while there are other conversations going on around you. Instead, seek out a quiet corner or a calmer room where you’ll have an easier time hearing and understanding one another.
If you’re on the phone or video chatting with your loved one, try to limit background noise on your side of the conversation by turning off the television, the radio, and any music. Also, avoid having a conversation in the kitchen if the dishwasher is running, and avoid having conversations near a fan or a running air conditioner.
If you notice background noise on the other side of the call, ask your conversation partner to move to a quieter area.
Instead of repeating, rephrase sentences
If you are having difficulty understanding what your friend or family member is saying, ask them to try rephrasing the sentence or question. Sometimes, people with hearing loss will have an easier time understanding a different phrasing than they will if you just simply say the same sentence again.
There may be a specific word or sound in that sentence that you have difficulty with and the rephrasing may help you better understand their meaning.
Stay on topic
Stay on topic during your conversation as much as possible. Sudden topic changes can be confusing for those with hearing loss. If you know the basic nature of the conversation, it will be easier to infer meaning when you have some difficulty understanding a specific word or sentence.
If one of you wants to change topics, simply communicate that and make sure the other person understands you are moving on to another subject.
Use technology to help you
Whether you’re conversing by phone, video chat, or in-person, you can use technology to your advantage. If you are having difficulty understanding a specific sentence or question, simply have your conversation partner message or text you that piece of information!
You can write messages on your tablet or phone and show them to someone as well, so that’s always an option. There are also tools and apps available that will translate the spoken word into text, so you can read what the other person has said via your phone or computer. These voice-to-text tools aren’t always accurate in their voice-to-text translations, though, so keep that in mind.
If you don’t have hearing aids yet, get a pair!
Hearing aids are your best option for better hearing! If you want to hear your friends and family clearly again, take the first step toward getting new hearing aids by calling us at (877) 344‑7744! We can help you arrange a hearing test, and once you have the results, we can help you choose new, name-brand hearing aids that are perfect for your budget and lifestyle.
Hopefully, these tips on how to communicate better this holiday season help you enjoy the holidays to the fullest!
We are here to help you hear the people in your life who are most important to you! Contact us today for assistance!