The Phone Lady's Blog

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Learning is Uncomfortable

By Mary Jane Copps | November 15, 2015

“To be outstanding, get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”  Alrick Koundenburg I’m reminded of these wise words every time I face a room of young students, some of them with pens poised, others with fingers hovering over keyboards. They are hoping I will say the one thing that will … Read more

What Is Your Intention?

By Mary Jane Copps | September 27, 2015

  Many of my clients are people who never – ever – wanted to “sell” anything. They are: Owners of startups, passionate and knowledgeable about the product they’ve created but now need to produce revenue; Franchisees with tons of relevant knowledge about their product or service, but absolutely … Read more

The #1 Reason We Don’t Listen

By Mary Jane Copps | September 20, 2015

“People hearing without listening.” Simon & Garfunkel, The Sound of Silence This is something we all do – every day. We hear the people around us speaking – family members, co-workers, customers, prospects – but we don’t really listen to what they are saying. Why do we do … Read more

When We Communicate …

By Mary Jane Copps | August 30, 2015

“Some opportunities knock softly. Pay attention” Mark Hobbs, Partner, Fundmetric One thing I know to be true after 28 years as an entrepreneur: “You just never know”. Something seemingly insignificant can turn out to be an amazing opportunity and …vice versa. Our ability to notice opportunities and respond … Read more

Response: When & How to Leave the Details

By Mary Jane Copps | July 19, 2015

Welcome to a guest post by Linda Daley, owner of Daley Progress. She had an immediate reaction to my last post and agreed to share her thoughts with us. Linda helps busy business owners build relationships and their reputation through their newsletters. Read her articles on the Work Better, Not Harder … Read more

The Illusion of the Detailed Message

By Mary Jane Copps | July 12, 2015

Why do some voicemail messages result in a return call and other’s don’t? While there are a wide variety of reasons, one of the biggest contributors to the unreturned call is the detailed message. The role of the detailed message is : 1) to provide information to someone you already … Read more

How To Cold Call Even When You Are Afraid

By Mary Jane Copps | July 5, 2015

Welcome to the second guest post by Scott Davis, owner of Davis Writing Solutions, documenting his discovery of the power of phone communication. His dedication to his craft – and to embracing phone communication – is inspirational. Enjoy and share!  Does the thought of making cold calls scare you? I’ve … Read more

#1 Reason to Refine Your Phone Skills

By Mary Jane Copps | June 28, 2015

Mid-June delivered two notable moments for The Phone Lady: 1) On Saturday June 14, my interview with freelance writer Adam McDowell was published as the Saturday feature in the National Post’s Weekend Post. This was followed, on June 16, by the full article being published online, along with a … Read more

How I Learned to Cold Call

By Mary Jane Copps | June 14, 2015

Welcome to the first in a series of posts by Scott Davis, owner of Davis Writing Solutions, documenting his discovery of the power of phone communication. His dedication to his craft – and to embracing phone communication – is inspirational. Enjoy and share!  I’m terrified of cold calling. … Read more

The Beginning of the End of Voice Mail?

By Mary Jane Copps | June 7, 2015

This past week I was delighted to hear from Daniel Huang, a Wall Street Journal reporter covering the banking sector, and honoured to be included in his report on the elimination of voice mail by several major U.S. banks.  Coca Cola made the same move at the end … Read more

Solving the Persistence Puzzle

By Mary Jane Copps | May 23, 2015

Welcome to the fourth in a series of posts by Leslie Gallagher, owner of Worklocal.jobs, documenting her discovery of the power of phone communication. I’ve been inspired by the joy, excitement and success she’s generated while developing her new skills – and I hope you are too. Enjoy and share!  I … Read more

#1 Reason to Choose a Phone Conversation

By Mary Jane Copps | May 10, 2015
phone conversation

Great conversations require both active listening and thoughtful response. In public settings, such as networking events, awards dinners, even a crowded pub or restaurant, I often fail at this task. Why? Well, it’s about distraction. The word “distraction” first appeared in the 15th century and comes from the … Read more

The Truth About Phone Skills

By Mary Jane Copps | April 12, 2015

Welcome to the second in a series of posts by Leslie Gallagher, owner of Worklocal.jobs, documenting her discovery of the power of phone communication. I’ve been inspired by the joy, excitement and success she’s generated while developing her new skills – and I hope you are too. Enjoy and share!  I never … Read more

The Price of Arrogance

By Mary Jane Copps | April 5, 2015

I’m no stranger to arrogance . . . and neither are you. All of us, from time to time, believe we know better, have “the” answer, are smarter or more important. It ‘s human nature for our ego to occasionally take over in this way. Hopefully we catch … Read more

Networking with Your Voice

By Mary Jane Copps | March 28, 2015

Just over a month ago, I was introduced to Leslie Gallagher with a request to help her pick up the phone. Her ability to own her discomfort and her determination to learn a new skill has been inspiring. She’s agreed to share her experiences with us in a … Read more

Expose Your Assumptions

By Mary Jane Copps | March 8, 2015

My husband is my most valuable teacher. While the lessons can sometimes be contentious and uncomfortable, they always provide me with new insight and important knowledge about myself and human nature in general. Such is the case with assumptions. For many years, any time we were in one of the … Read more

The 3 Basics of Effective Phone Communication

By Mary Jane Copps | February 28, 2015

A dear friend of mine used to say “There are three possible answers to every question – yes, no and I don’t know.” I’m reminded of the wisdom of these words often, especially when it comes to the telephone. Effective phone communication is direct and honest. Without the benefit … Read more

The Evolution of Phone Manners

By Mary Jane Copps | January 25, 2015

From time to time, in a workshop or in conversation, people will challenge me on what I believe to be true about today’s telephone etiquette. “That’s not what I was taught,” they’ll say. Or, “I’ve been doing it the same way for years, and it works for me.” … Read more

My Cellphone Dilemna

By Mary Jane Copps | October 6, 2013

I’ve been contemplating some criticism I received back in August about how I handle incoming calls. The Wall Street Journal article had just been published and there were people from all over the world reaching out to me. And for many of them their expectation was – because … Read more

Assumptions Limit Excellence

By Mary Jane Copps | May 26, 2013

At the Ottawa Airport this morning, someone’s boarding pass drifted past my feet as I walked to my gate. I picked it up and went over to the agents for the appropriate flight. “Good Morning, ladies,” I said to them both (it was 7 am), holding up the … Read more

Powerful Words: Names

By Mary Jane Copps | January 27, 2013

This past week I immersed myself in phonework for three solid days – a rare occurrence that I welcomed with excitement. (I know, I know, many of you think that is completely bonkers!) But dialing the phone to accomplish a specific goal is the foundation of The Phone … Read more

Cellphone Chaos vs Cellphone Etiquette

By Mary Jane Copps | February 19, 2012

I think it’s time to admit we’re not handling it well – our relationship with our cellphones. The usefulness of this technology is often overshadowed by human obsessiveness and this not only harms relationships it’s putting some of us at risk. I’ll start with my walk to a … Read more

CBC Radio
Maritime Noon with Bob Murphy - On the phone-in: Mary Jane Copps has advice on making phone calls to people who are phone-averse. Listen in >
Radio New Zealand logo
How to tackle your telephone hang-ups. People with bad cases of telephone anxiety can experience nausea, increased heart rate and shortness of breath at the sound of a ringtone. Listen in...

Phone Phobia Hits the News

Phone phobia, or telephobia, has been getting a lot of attention in the news recently. See what Mary Jane has to say about it...
Margins of Error with Harry Enten
CNN's Harry Enten asks why we’re avoiding phone calls and whether we can be coached through our telephone-related nerves in this Margins of Error podcast featuring Mary Jane.
This Hour Has 22 Minutes
22 Minutes correspondent, Brandon Hackett, figures out which end is up on this thing called a telephone, with help from The Phone Lady. Watch Telephone Lessons for Millennials.