Cutting out the damaging noise at work

Kelly Jones of the Stereophonics in full voice!
Kelly Jones of the Stereophonics in full voice!

A few years ago I was given tickets to go to hear the band Stereophonics at the SSEC in Glasgow. My daughter – who is a huge fan – got the chance to meet the band and didn’t need the tickets she had already bought. It was a fantastic gig with a great performance from the guys. The next day I clearly remember  driving to work and realising that I was still deaf from the night before. As the day went on and it was only slightly better I started to get worried. It took a good couple of days before I felt my hearing had fully returned. With this in mind I have been very careful about listening to loud noise and took the step of getting proper “ear defenders”  – the type used by professional musicians I understand – before going to another  of their gigs. I am not sure about the science but in simple terms I can still hear them but the damaging noise is markedly reduced and since using them I have had not even the slightest ringing left in my ears.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I often get inspiration for posts from surprising or unusual places …and here’s another. I thought how great it would be  if someone could invent ear defenders for the workplace. The potential is endless. For example

  • when someone chooses to comment destructively for their own purposes. (they might say that they mean it constructively…but really they don’t!) – it’s always worth taking some time to question motives before taking action.
  • when there is gossip and chatter around an issue that though it might be interesting adds nothing to the thing you should be focussing on and is diverting your already stretched time.
  • when someone has an opinion they want to share  with you and although they might have grounds for their dissatisfaction or grievance  they are choosing to talk about it to anyone other than the people who could do something about it.
  • when the mood of the room changes because someone has brought their grumpiness in to work with them and their low level gloomy comments are infecting you even though you started the day feeling bright and optimistic.

While we wait for the great inventors to develop something this might be a good opportunity to think about how you are dealing with the damaging noise in your workplace at the moment before the effects become longer lasting than you want.