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6 Ways SIP Trunking Eases Up Your Business Communication

6 Ways SIP Trunking Eases Up Your Business Communication

SIP Trunking is an innovative phone system that allows businesses to replace traditional and fixed PSTN lines with PSTN connectivity that utilizes an online SIP Trunking service provider. SIP Trunking can provide numerous benefits to businesses, including cost-effective long distance calling and a major reduction in monthly service fees. While the cost savings and improved economy enjoyed by this system is certainly something to celebrate, SIP Trunking can also make phone systems easier to use.

1. Business Transparency

SIP Trunking allows businesses to run more transparently than with traditional phone systems. Businesses can be conducted from anywhere, regardless of time zone or location, making it a great solution for companies with remote workers. This allows customers to have maximum access to staff, and employees will be able to access corporate resources from anywhere in the world in order to save the business money. SIP Trunking also allows multiple devices to be registered using the same address, so one number can reach the employee at multiple locations.

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2. Easier Maintenance

SIP Trunks are virtual instead of physical systems, so maintenance is much easier than with traditional lines. Old trunks require expensive circuit and termination point installation, but a SIP trunk can be adjusted easily with a simple software configuration. This can lead to significant cost savings in terms of maintenance, but businesses will also save time, as there will be no need to have extensive conversations with technicians each time that a new phone line needs to be installed.

3. Improved Networking and External Calls

SIP Trunking offers several unique benefits that can work to improve business phone systems. SIP Trunking acts more like a network than simply a telephone-based technology. It works as a packet switched network line, similar to what you would use to connect two separate business locations. Sip Trunking can directly support converged data and voice networks, and you can run SIP trunks between multiple business locations in order to expand the geographic coverage of your data and voice network.

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Additionally, SIP Trunking can be used for external calling, as SIP trunks can connect a PBX phone system to your telephone provider. Depending on the coding scheme, bandwidth, and CODEC you use, you could handle as many as 23 external lines with SIP Trunk. If you utilize an Ethernet connection with your telephone service provider, you could support dozens of different phone lines depending on your available bandwidth.

4. Rich Communication

SIP Trunking has become a standard protocol for the use of VoIP, but it was originally designed to initiate all real-time communication types via the Internet, and not just voice. These types of communication include:

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  • Application collaboration and sharing on a single document
  • File transfers
  • Instant messaging and texting in real-time
  • Machine-to-machine communication in real-time
  • Presence, in order to see who is online and available
  • Video conferencing
  • Whiteboarding, drawing, and writing via a common virtual whiteboard

This variety of rich communication opportunities with SIP Trunking allows users to choose the best possible way to exchange ideas in order to work through their immediate situation.

5. Smarter Logistics and Integrated Data

SIP Trunking can support a variety of media formats that surpass just voice, including instant messaging and video. This means that businesses will have their costs streamlined, as they will be paying for one service rather than multiple data and voice plans to have all of their needs met. Businesses will have better data consistency with only using one system, and it will also be easier to train employees to utilize one system rather than to master multiple different technologies in order to do their jobs.

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6. Never Miss a Call

When a business owner misses a call, he or she may be missing out on a major opportunity that they cannot get back. With SIP Trunking, even when employees are working remotely or are on the road, calls can be automatically routed to a mobile device. The same situation is true if a phone line is busy or if the office is closed on a weekend or holiday. Business owners won’t have to worry about losing customers due to missed calls because the systems can be programmed to move a call to the next extension, send them to a mobile phone, or route them to a different location, phone number, or trunk group.

Changing a phone system over to SIP Trunking may be one of the smartest technology moves that a business can make. In addition to the significant cost-savings that companies will enjoy, SIP Trunking can make phone systems easier to use by providing rich communication opportunities, forwarding calls, reducing maintenance, and improving business transparency. While the system should be programmed and set up by an expert, after installation businesses will be prepared to enjoy a wealth of benefits.

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Last Updated on December 4, 2020

How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

We all crave constructive feedback. We want to know not just what we’re doing well but also what we could be doing better.

However, giving and getting constructive feedback isn’t just some feel-good exercise. In the workplace, it’s part and parcel of how companies grow.

Let’s take a closer look.

Why Constructive Feedback Is Critical

A culture of feedback benefits individuals on a team and the team itself. Constructive feedback has the following effects:

Builds Workers’ Skills

Think about the last time you made a mistake. Did you come away from it feeling attacked—a key marker of destructive feedback—or did you feel like you learned something new?

Every time a team member learns something, they become more valuable to the business. The range of tasks they can tackle increases. Over time, they make fewer mistakes, require less supervision, and become more willing to ask for help.

Boosts Employee Loyalty

Constructive feedback is a two-way street. Employees want to receive it, but they also want the feedback they give to be taken seriously.

If employees see their constructive feedback ignored, they may take it to mean they aren’t a valued part of the team. Nine in ten employees say they’d be more likely to stick with a company that takes and acts on their feedback.[1]

Strengthens Team Bonds

Without trust, teams cannot function. Constructive feedback builds trust because it shows that the giver of the feedback cares about the success of the recipient.

However, for constructive feedback to work its magic, both sides have to assume good intentions. Those giving the feedback must genuinely want to help, and those getting it has to assume that the goal is to build them up rather than to tear them down.

Promotes Mentorship

There’s nothing wrong with a single round of constructive feedback. But when it really makes a difference is when it’s repeated—continuous, constructive feedback is the bread and butter of mentorship.

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Be the change you want to see on your team. Give constructive feedback often and authentically, and others will naturally start to see you as a mentor.

Clearly, constructive feedback is something most teams could use more of. But how do you actually give it?

How to Give Constructive Feedback

Giving constructive feedback is tricky. Get it wrong, and your message might fall on deaf ears. Get it really wrong, and you could sow distrust or create tension across the entire team.

Here are ways to give constructive feedback properly:

1. Listen First

Often, what you perceive as a mistake is a decision someone made for a good reason. Listening is the key to effective communication.

Seek to understand: how did the other person arrive at her choice or action?

You could say:

  • “Help me understand your thought process.”
  • “What led you to take that step?”
  • “What’s your perspective?”

2. Lead With a Compliment

In school, you might have heard it called the “sandwich method”: Before (and ideally, after) giving difficult feedback, share a compliment. That signals to the recipient that you value their work.

You could say:

  • “Great design. Can we see it with a different font?”
  • “Good thinking. What if we tried this?”

3. Address the Wider Team

Sometimes, constructive feedback is best given indirectly. If your comment could benefit others on the team, or if the person whom you’re really speaking to might take it the wrong way, try communicating your feedback in a group setting.

You could say:

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  • “Let’s think through this together.”
  • “I want everyone to see . . .”

4. Ask How You Can Help

When you’re on a team, you’re all in it together. When a mistake happens, you have to realize that everyone—not just the person who made it—has a role in fixing it. Give constructive feedback in a way that recognizes this dynamic.

You could say:

  • “What can I do to support you?”
  • “How can I make your life easier?
  • “Is there something I could do better?”

5. Give Examples

To be useful, constructive feedback needs to be concrete. Illustrate your advice by pointing to an ideal.

What should the end result look like? Who has the process down pat?

You could say:

  • “I wanted to show you . . .”
  • “This is what I’d like yours to look like.”
  • “This is a perfect example.”
  • “My ideal is . . .”

6. Be Empathetic

Even when there’s trust in a team, mistakes can be embarrassing. Lessons can be hard to swallow. Constructive feedback is more likely to be taken to heart when it’s accompanied by empathy.

You could say:

  • “I know it’s hard to hear.”
  • “I understand.”
  • “I’m sorry.”

7. Smile

Management consultancies like Credera teach that communication is a combination of the content, delivery, and presentation.[2] When giving constructive feedback, make sure your body language is as positive as your message. Your smile is one of your best tools for getting constructive feedback to connect.

8. Be Grateful

When you’re frustrated about a mistake, it can be tough to see the silver lining. But you don’t have to look that hard. Every constructive feedback session is a chance for the team to get better and grow closer.

You could say:

  • “I’m glad you brought this up.”
  • “We all learned an important lesson.”
  • “I love improving as a team.”

9. Avoid Accusations

Giving tough feedback without losing your cool is one of the toughest parts of working with others. Great leaders and project managers get upset at the mistake, not the person who made it.[3]

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You could say:

  • “We all make mistakes.”
  • “I know you did your best.”
  • “I don’t hold it against you.”

10. Take Responsibility

More often than not, mistakes are made because of miscommunications Recognize your own role in them.

Could you have been clearer in your directions? Did you set the other person up for success?

You could say:

  • “I should have . . .”
  • “Next time, I’ll . . .”

11. Time it Right

Constructive feedback shouldn’t catch people off guard. Don’t give it while everyone is packing up to leave work. Don’t interrupt a good lunch conversation.

If in doubt, ask the person to whom you’re giving feedback to schedule the session themselves. Encourage them to choose a time when they’ll be able to focus on the conversation rather than their next task.

12. Use Their Name

When you hear your name, your ears naturally perk up. Use that when giving constructive feedback. Just remember that constructive feedback should be personalized, not personal.

You could say:

  • “Bob, I wanted to chat through . . .”
  • “Does that make sense, Jesse?”

13. Suggest, Don’t Order

When you give constructive feedback, it’s important not to be adversarial. The very act of giving feedback recognizes that the person who made the mistake had a choice—and when the situation comes up again, they’ll be able to choose differently.

You could say:

  • “Next time, I suggest . . .”
  • “Try it this way.”
  • “Are you on board with that?”

14. Be Brief

Even when given empathetically, constructive feedback can be uncomfortable to receive. Get your message across, make sure there are no hard feelings, and move on.

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One exception? If the feedback isn’t understood, make clear that you have plenty of time for questions. Rushing through what’s clearly an open conversation is disrespectful and discouraging.

15. Follow Up

Not all lessons are learned immediately. After giving a member of your team constructive feedback, follow it up with an email. Make sure you’re just as respectful and helpful in your written feedback as you are on your verbal communication.

You could say:

  • “I wanted to recap . . .”
  • “Thanks for chatting with me about . . .”
  • “Did that make sense?”

16. Expect Improvement

Although you should always deliver constructive feedback in a supportive manner, you should also expect to see it implemented. If it’s a long-term issue, set milestones.

By what date would you like to see what sort of improvement? How will you measure that improvement?

You could say:

  • “I’d like to see you . . .”
  • “Let’s check back in after . . .”
  • “I’m expecting you to . . .”
  • “Let’s make a dent in that by . . .”

17. Give Second Chances

Giving feedback, no matter how constructive, is a waste of time if you don’t provide an opportunity to implement it. Don’t set up a “gotcha” moment, but do tap the recipient of your feedback next time a similar task comes up.

You could say:

  • “I know you’ll rock it next time.”
  • “I’d love to see you try again.”
  • “Let’s give it another go.”

Final Thoughts

Constructive feedback is not an easy nut to crack. If you don’t give it well, then maybe it’s time to get some. Never be afraid to ask.

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Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

Reference

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