Workers often complain that the boss doesn’t listen, but on 1 August, it was true. Leaders taking part in our Silent Leadership Challenge wore earmuffs to simulate deafness.
They then had to tackle four tasks – take part in a team meeting, a one-to-one meeting, a social get-together, and watching TV with the family.
After a successful inaugural event last year, the Challenge ran again to heighten awareness about noise-induced hearing loss, and to raise funds for the Foundation’s work.
Sets of small earmuffs were donated by MSA, the Safety Company. Classmates of Annabel MacKay are taking part to learn more about hearing loss like hers.
Ed Sims - CEO Airways NZ
‘It’s a chance for me to put myself in others’ shoes and to experience the loss of something that I take for granted every day. It will be a challenge for me and for those I work and live with. I’m very pleased to be making a small contribution to improve understanding and to raise funds.’
Marcus Rudkin, partner, Jackson Russell Lawyers
‘I am really looking forward to putting on the hearing protectors again and giving it another go. I think it’s important to think about others who face challenges in the workplace and I am grateful that charities like the Foundation are there to support them.’
Clare Curran, MP
'Wearing the bright yellow ear protectors gave a startling insight into the daily impact for the hearing impaired. You can only get experience by working in someone else’s shoes, and trying to communicate effectively while wearing those ear protectors has certainly given me a taste of that experience.'
Melissa Lee, MP
'It made me aware that people with hearing loss face challenges every day that most people take for granted.'
Carmel Bennett - Communications Manager, Village Roadshow
'I took a leap with my first challenge and attempted to watch a movie with headphones on...but the sense of removal from the action was not comfortable.'
Fiona Douglas - Whangarei Youth Band
Fiona Douglas is conductor of the Whangarei Youth Band and, running a charitable organisation herself, thinks the Challenge is a great way to fundraise. That’s why she signed up for this year's event. ‘I’m really inspired when people take on things that are a little outside the box,’ she says. One of her heroes is Dame Evelyn Glennie, the Scottish percussionist who has been profoundly deaf since the age of 12, having started to lose her hearing from the age of eight.
Fiona formed the Cadet Band for the event, and was excited to have the whole ensemble of 18 young people participate and help those Kiwis who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Tony Eaton, Managing Director, New Zealand Screen Association
'I am doing this to highlight the challenges that 700,000 hearing impaired New Zealanders face every day.'
Matt Bolland - Director of Corporate Affairs & Wholesale, 2degrees
'I’m surrounded by people who live with headphones in their ears so it’s a novel way to get people thinking about the long term impacts of noise.'