creating a new social norm for hearing care
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The 4 Questions: Comprehensive Guide

The 4 Questions: a framework for changing the social norm for hearing

There are four questions that society must be able to correctly answer about hearing before they consider it relevant enough to take action and approach a hearing care provider.

Often the answers to these questions come to people unconsciously, derived from their thoughts, feelings and actions, which in turn come from the messages and associations presented to them by hearing care.

This comprehensive guide to the 4 Questions explains in detail which types of messages and associations generate a positive (approach) response to hearing care, as well as revealing why hearing care has been so unsuccessful in the past in reaching more people.

The guide is fully referenced and the theory behind the 4 Questions clearly explained so you can begin to instinctively recognise and apply the principles to your own messages and campaigns.

The 4 Questions

The 4 Question that society has to be able to answer before hearing care becomes relevant to them are:

  1. When should I have my hearing checked?
  2. How do I detect a change in my hearing?
  3. Who uses hearing technology and is that me?
  4. When should I use hearing technology?

Think to yourself how a typical person in the street might answer these four questions today. More importantly, how should they answer them from the perspective of "what's best for their hearing"? Answering the questions one way will make them more likely to approach hearing care. But answering them another way will either deter them from approaching a hearing care provider, or delay their taking action.

"The 4 Questions: A framework for creating a new social norm for hearing" explains how the hearing care profession and industry can work separately and collaboratively to ensure they are able to answer these questions correctly. 

From the back cover:

"Hearing is one of our primary senses.Yet society generally regards it as an “optional extra”, allowing it to fade away unchecked until it has negatively impacted on a person’s quality of life, relationships, personal effectiveness and access to opportunities.

It is often not until many years later that hearing care eventually “steps in” to pick up the pieces, only to find itself facing resistance from negative attitudes and an individual’s desire to avoid the very intervention that will mitigate their acknowledged difficulties.

It is a quandary the hearing care profession and hearing technology industry have struggled with for decades without great success. Why? because we have been trying to address the symptoms, rather than the underlying cause: a defective social norm.

The 4 Questions: A framework for Creating a New Social Norm for Hearing establishes a change in direction for hearing care by identifying the four key questions a person has to answer before hearing technology becomes relevant to them, then providing a framework for ensuring society has what it needs to answer those questions in a way that fosters an approach response to hearing care.

Applying these principles at an individual level will make your own messages more effective, your response more certain and will reduce the amount of counselling and time required before someone says yes to using hearing technology.

Applying them systematically as an industry and profession will forever change the way society sees their hearing."

Readers describe the 4 Questions as:

"An excellent read, and long overdue."

"Very thought provoking. It’s refreshing to see a fresh view on changing the way we present ourselves to society."

Some great and relevant insights"

"A very thorough and impressive manifesto! It contains a multitude of good insights and ideas."

92 pages including:

  • The power of social norms
  • The 4 Questions: What a social norm for hearing needs to address
  • The new social norm for hearing
  • The principles of the new social norm
  • The process of changing the norm
  • The tools of changing the norm
  • The core messages
  • 1. When should I have my hearing checked?
  • 2. How do I detect changes in my own hearing?
  • 3. Who uses hearing technology, and is that relevant to me?
  • 4. When should I use hearing technology?
  • Transforming relevance into action
  • Situational triggers for hearing technology
  • Attributional triggers for hearing technology
  • Putting the principles of the 4 Questions into action
  • Appendix 1: Having a Hearing Test Needn’t Be ‘Risky’
  • Appendix 2: Establishing the threshold of Action
  • Appendix 3: Notes and References

Essential reading for all involved in hearing care

If you have ever been frustrated with the poor response people have towards hearing care or hearing aids, or you find yourself spending far too much time "peeling away the layers of resistance that people bring with them into the consulting room", you'll find this easy-to-read manifesto to how we can change the underlying attitudes society has towards hearing care both refreshing and insightful. 

It's currently available as a PDF free of charge if you've registered as a participant of Audira. Hard copies are available for £22 if you live in the UK.

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