The Phone Lady's Blog

Inspire Conversation

listening skills

The One Word Resolution

By Mary Jane Copps | January 2, 2016

Doors will be opened for those who dare to knock.  I haven’t kept any statistics, but I’d say I have about a 98% fail rate at keeping New Year’s Resolutions.  I can only think of two that I’ve kept diligently for several years – read more books (which … Read more

Your Brand is Your Promise

By Mary Jane Copps | December 6, 2015

  Picking up on last week’s post about why branding matters, I welcome back  Jay Hiltz, Partner & Creative Director,  Kohoot Media. Jay is the creator of The Phone Lady logo. Its vibrant colours and friendly, phone-focused attitude has contributed immeasurably to the growth of this company over the … Read more

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’s This About?

By Mary Jane Copps | November 8, 2015

It was a typical weekday morning – I was rushing to get out the door. I’m  not sure why, but no matter how much I plan ahead, I always find myself rushing in the morning.  Then our home phone – a landline – rang at 8:14 am. That’s … Read more

Creating Fewer Decisions

By Mary Jane Copps | October 25, 2015

Decision fatigue is one of the biggest challenges impacting communication today, so it’s worth revisiting this information I first published in 2015. It is estimated that adults make 35,000 decisions each day – which does sound ridiculous, but when we consider that each email we receive involves a … 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

The #1 Way To Build Relationships

By Mary Jane Copps | September 13, 2015

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something. Plato My summer months were filled with delightful social situations, but The Phone Lady part of my brain doesn’t always understand the word “vacation”. It still observes and analyzes, feeding my seemingly endless curiosity … 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

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

#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

What If You Were Honoured?

By Mary Jane Copps | April 19, 2015

Imagine you are at a large business event and the person closest to you politely begins a conversation. They are familiar with your company and your industry and express genuine interest in the work you are doing. Not only that, they ask intelligent questions and even share a … 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

Fun … and Productive!

By Mary Jane Copps | March 14, 2015

I want to share with you one of the highlights of my week. Actually, let me revise that – one of the highlights of my career as The Phone Lady. The past few years have revealed that many young people (I’ll say those under 30) do not talk … 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

At the Sound of the Tone …

By Mary Jane Copps | January 18, 2015

… Tone of voice that is, the sound that gives words their direction and intention. In order to understand each other, it’s essential that we hear, recognize and respond to tone of voice. Yet we often squander the opportunity, choosing instead to click and send. Know that I’m … Read more

Not Only Words, But Nuance

By Mary Jane Copps | November 3, 2013

The most powerful gift of phone communication is – nuance. Coming from the French “nuer”, meaning to shade, nuance is about subtle differences in tone, in colour, in meaning – the differences that, when we hear them, allow us to truly serve our customers and potential customers. While … Read more

The Sound of Insincerity

By Mary Jane Copps | September 16, 2013

All of us rely on each of our senses to provide us with data, information that helps us make decisions and allows us to communicate effectively with others. It is logical that when one of our senses is unavailable to us, we feel disoriented and even frightened. Hence … Read more

21 Words of Wisdom

By Mary Jane Copps | August 25, 2013

This quote, by Henry David Thoreau, came across my desk this week: The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer. There’s a lot of wisdom in these 21 words. Asking our customers and potential customers … Read more

Talk Less to Listen More

By Mary Jane Copps | June 16, 2013

If I had to choose my #1 Most Irritating Communication Habit it would be … not listening! I’m sure you’ve experienced it. You’ve enthusiastically shared a story or provided information; you finish and wait expectantly for reaction or input. Instead, when the person speaks, their words don’t connect … Read more

Silence Means You’re Listening

By Mary Jane Copps | September 9, 2012

Part of my Saturday morning was spent with the friendly, energetic woman of lia sophia. I want to thank them for a great Phone Lady power hour – they truly dedicated themselves to learning – while having fun. Special thanks go to Independent Advisor and Zone Leader Arlene … Read more

Ask – And Keep Asking!

By Mary Jane Copps | August 29, 2012

Riding the subway in Toronto recently I was inspired by the slogan of one of the local cellphone companies. Adapting it slightly, I want to introduce it as a foundation or core value for business success: “How do you keep your customers and clients happy; how do you … Read more

Listen – Respond – Build Rapport

By Mary Jane Copps | February 12, 2012

This past week I was on the phone steadily and had several strong reminders of the importance of listening – and responding – to what I hear. This is vital to our ability to create and maintain strong relationships.  Phone fear is grounded in our inability to see what … Read more

Bosses and employees are wrestling over whether voice calls have a place in the hybrid era. The Wall Street Journal recently spoke to Mary Jane. Find out more here.
Overwhelmed by alerts? Avoid calling people? Here's what phone anxiety looks like — and why it happens.
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 >
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.