Practical Suggestions to Expand and Flourish

Every day at work or your place of education, and when you spend time with your family and friends, you continue to learn something about yourself. You develop new skills, refine how you make good decisions and discover your personal preferences in matters that are important to you. You also continue to speak up for yourself and explain to others how they can help you hear and communicate better. When you know and understand yourself, it is easier to:

Key skills:

  • Make choices: Know what you prefer when more than one option is available

  • Make decisions: Consider your possibilities and select the one that best suits your needs

  • Solve problems: Find solutions for challenging situations

  • Set goals: Decide on a goal and how you will achieve it

  • Speak up for yourself: Know and stand up for your rights

  • Manage and monitor your personal development: Be in charge of your own development and independence

  • Understand your own strengths and limitations: What are your preferences, interests and abilities?

Below are some scenarios you can consider to practice these skills. When you have completed them, think of other exercises to keep developing the skills further.

Make good choices:

  • Think about a choice you have recently made and write down why you made that choice

    • For example, as you prepare to move away from home, investigate possible hearing care professionals and choose one that you feel will attend to your hearing care going forward

  • Ask yourself:

    • Was it a good choice?
    • How did my choice affect me?
    • If relevant, how did my choice affect others?
    • What would have happened if I had made a different choice?

Make good decisions:

  • Think about a decision you have recently made and write down why you made that decision. For example:

    • Decide which future careers you are interested in and explore what skills and experience are required
    • Decide which clubs and organizations you can join to gain more of the skills and knowledge required for the career of your choice

  • Ask yourself:

    • Why did I make that decision?
    • Was it a good decision?
    • Why was it good/less good?

Solve problems:

  • Think about a problem you have recently faced and write down the solution you came up with. For example:

    • Are there places at work, your educational environment or spare time activities where you find it difficult to hear and communicate? Think about possible solutions and who you will ask for help.
    • Are there individuals you find it difficult to hear and/or communicate with? Invite them to discuss your difficulties with you to try to find a common solution.

  • Ask yourself:

    • Did my approach to solving the problem work well?
    • Was my solution good?
    • What else could I have done?

Set goals and meet them:

  • Set a goal for yourself – something you really want to learn or do. Now write down one or two activities you can engage in or people you can meet with to bring you closer to your goal.

    • For example, think about your career goals in the short and long term. What would you like to achieve and what are the steps required to get there?

  • Ask yourself:

    • Are my goals realistic?
    • Who can help me?
    • What is the first step I can take towards reaching my goal?
    • How will I know when I have achieved my goal?

Speak up for yourself:

  • Think of situations where you need to speak up on your behalf. For example:

    • Practice talking about your hearing loss with someone you know well
    • Decide how you will talk about your hearing loss when going for job interviews
    • Think about how you will tell a possible date about your hearing loss

  • Ask yourself:

    • What was good/less good about the approach I took?
    • What did it feel like to do it this way?
    • Will I do it the same way next time?

Manage and monitor your personal development:

  • List 1-2 new skills you would like to develop and make a step-by-step plan for how and when you will do it.

    • For example, think of new methods for hearing/communicating better in situations that are important to you. Identify the steps needed to implement the method and create a small sheet to note down your progress.

  • Ask yourself:

    • Am I making the progress I desire?
    • What else can I do to make progress?
    • Who can help me?

Understand your own strengths and limitations:

  • Create two lists for yourself - one with the things you do well and one with the things you would like to do better. Now share it with a good friend. Ask them if they agree and what they think you can do to improve the things you would like to do better.
  • Think about how the above lists can help guide you in your choice of studies and career
  • Ask yourself:

    • What can I do to learn these things better?
    • What other things do I want to become good at?
    • How can knowing my strengths and limitations help guide me on important career choices?