The Phone Lady's Blog

Inspire Conversation

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Noticing Nuance in Conversation

By Mary Jane Copps | November 14, 2021

Nuance is definitely one of the most difficult skills of storyfinding. It requires us to be completely present in our conversations and intently listening, not only to words and sentences but to everything around those words and sentences. Next, we have to respond to what we hear, and … Read more

Acknowledging Nuance in our Communication

By Mary Jane Copps | November 7, 2021
woman yawning

Nuance is such an elegant, fancy word. It conjures up images of ballet and opera, poetry and classical music. And we might associate it with the work of great actors too, like Elizabeth Moss or Meryl Streep. Nuance is certainly connected with all these things. And it plays … Read more

Curiosity Did Not “Kill The Cat”!

By Mary Jane Copps | September 26, 2021
woman on video call

“Curiosity is the engine of achievement.” Sir Ken Robinson Allowing curiosity to guide our conversations is the first step of storyfinding. With both prospects and customers, curiosity helps us clarify and deliver on expectations, reveal additional ways to serve and work together, and continually build on the all-important … Read more

Elevate Your Customer Service: Effective and Efficient Conversations

By Mary Jane Copps | March 27, 2021
man planning a phone call

It happens to all of us. We finish a conversation with a client and feel, well, unaccomplished. Perhaps the next steps aren’t clearly agreed upon. Or important items are completely forgotten and another conversation needs to be booked. It doesn’t have to be this way. There’s a very … Read more

4 Ways to Help Others Hear You

By Mary Jane Copps | October 31, 2020
man listening

“Communication is not saying something; communication is being heard.” – Frances Hesselbein We’ve all had the experience of speaking to someone and, much to our surprise and/or frustration, they don’t hear us at all. Even in a quiet setting, when we’ve chosen our words carefully, they seem to … Read more

Powerful Words: The Reason For My Call

By Mary Jane Copps | September 10, 2020
woman making business phone call

One of the most important “tricks” to effective telephone communication lies in acknowledging this simple fact: every phone call is an interruption. While this was true when I began my career on the phone (1987), people still had “space” in their day. They could, and would, find time … Read more

Your Phone Includes Pandemic Relief

By Mary Jane Copps | March 21, 2020

In my 14 years as The Phone Lady, I’ve often been asked, “Why the phone, Mary Jane? How is it that you’ve ended up championing the phone?” Most often I’ve given a quick and easy answer. The phone has been part of every job throughout my working life, … Read more

The Automatic “No”

By Mary Jane Copps | July 9, 2016
woman saying NO

My husband tells a funny – and embarrassing – story about me and my tendency to say “no”. In our early years together he would often call me at work with an invitation to go somewhere or do something. He’d be all enthused about a concert or dinner … 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 Question is in the Answer

By Mary Jane Copps | May 27, 2012
woman in phone call at desk

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin A variation of this quote is likely familiar to most of us. And most of us understand that preparation is an important and essential part of success. But … there are times when preparation prevents us from … 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.