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The Phone Lady charges $480 an hour to help Gen-Z overcome their fear of talking on the phone

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A woman calling herself ‘The Phone Lady’ is charging $480 an hour to help Gen Z workers overcome their fear of talking on the phone.

Mary Jane Copps, who has trained 15,000 people since starting The Phone Lady in 2006, says “phone phobia” is most prominent among Gen Z, who were never taught how to hold proper conversations over the phone.

The problem has reached the point where receiving an unannounced phone call is seen as “an act of aggression” among the younger generation, according to the Irish Times.

To combat this, Copps charges nearly $500 an hour for one-on-one training, $365 for 30-minute webinars as part of a seven-part program and $3,500 a day for corporate workshops, reports Business Insider.

Copps told DailyMail.com that while some of the advice may be “obvious”, many people suffer from phone anxiety and need to be reminded of the basics.

Mary Jane Copps, known as the telephone lady, trained 15,000 employees on how to communicate properly over the telephone.  She charges $480 an hour for one-on-one coaching, $365 for 30-minute webinars, and corporate workshops at $3,500 a day

Mary Jane Copps, known as the telephone lady, trained 15,000 employees on how to communicate properly over the telephone. She charges $480 an hour for one-on-one coaching, $365 for 30-minute webinars, and corporate workshops at $3,500 a day

A YouTube video of her tips shows The Phone Lady telling her customers that the key to a successful phone conversation is simply to ‘use your name and smile’.

“Whenever you answer the phone, use your name and smile,” says Copps. ‘Like when you meet someone in person, you want to share their name.’

‘That’s the beginning of relationship building[s].’

Copps, who lives in Nova Scotia, brags about her ability to build “great communication” skills on her website, saying she has worked with many companies, nonprofits and government organizations across North America to train young workers.

A former real estate journalist, Copps entered the world of marketing in 1987 at the age of 29, noting that when he made his first sales call at the time, he “had no knowledge of how the conversation should be structured.”

She says the problem now persists for Gen Z, the digital natives who are more used to communicating over text messages than over the phone.

“The Blackberry came out in the ’90s and we’ve been talking thumbs up ever since… so Gen Z never grew up with the phone skills that others had,” she said.

‘In my generation, the telephone was on the wall of everyone’s house. We were taught since we were little to answer, make calls and take messages.’

On her website, Copps says she can improve people’s phone skills in weekly 30-minute webinars because she understands the “psychology” behind phone conversations and can help anyone succeed.

Copps said younger workers grew up mostly texting, so they don't have the older generation's phone conversation skills and have developed 'phone phobia'

Copps said younger workers grew up mostly texting, so they don’t have the older generation’s phone conversation skills and have developed ‘phone phobia’

She added that 50% of her clients in 2022 were repeat customers, boasting of the success she has had in training employees at companies and other agencies.

Alison Papadakis, head of clinical psychological studies at Johns Hopkins University, agrees with Copps and says that “phone phobia” is common in younger generations.

“Gen Z and millennials have much less experience talking on the phone because texting and instant messaging has been the main mode of communication for their generation,” she told Insider. ‘Because they have much less experience talking on the phone, they are less comfortable with it.

“It causes people who are vulnerable to social anxiety to have anxiety in that situation.”

When coaching someone, Copps said he instructs them to stop texting and calling their friends and family.

“If they’re not even used to talking on the phone with their mother, the process is so daunting,” she told Insider. “So I can’t say I’m going to make them call potential clients as they would just fall apart – we start with their family or someone they know.”

She said that she herself often calls someone unexpectedly to catch them off guard and see how they adapt to the situation.

Emer McLysaght of the Irish Times said that these surprise phone calls were being seen by the younger generation as a “mildly aggressive act requiring immediate thinking and social skill”.

Like Copps, McLysaght said young workers are more used to carefully planning their words via text or email, and are increasingly anxious about physical phone calls.

McLysaght added that phone calls are seen as a last resort, meaning Gen Z only uses them for emergencies.

So when they get a call, McLysaght said, they assume the worst and get called.

“I would never call a friend without first texting them to let them know I’m about to call and would probably reassure them that ‘it’s not bad at all, I promise’ to really ease them into the situation,” McLysaght wrote of the new phone. culture.

Others revealed their hatred of Friday afternoon work meetings

Others revealed their hatred of Friday afternoon work meetings

Making phone calls while working has been considered one of the biggest irritations Gen Z is trying to remove from the office.

The introverted lawyer, a TikToker, summed up the sentiment in an animated video that quickly went viral and racked up over two million likes.

“Part of the job is talking to other humans,” read the caption, accompanied by the clip of an office worker crying into his desk phone.

‘Me whenever I have to call someone at work,’ the text in the video read.

Followed by the character saying, ‘I don’t want to do this, please don’t pick up, please don’t pick up.’

The viral video resonated with other TikTokers, with one admitting they avoid making phone calls at all costs.

“I remember my phone broke at work and I just didn’t say anything for weeks,” they said.

Others revealed that the video made them feel better – knowing they’re not alone – some dubbed Gen Z the phone anxiety generation.

“I used to work in a call center and this is very accurate,” said one.

‘I work in customer service and this is very accurate,’ said another.

While others admit that the calls make them more nervous.

‘Outbound calls are good because I know what it’s about. The incoming calls scare me a lot because they could be anything,” said one man.

Butler said the anxiety people feel when making calls when they’re new to a role is “normal” but can be managed with practice.

“(By) making your manager and co-workers aware that this is something you struggle with will allow them to support you by delegating fewer calls to you at the beginning or even providing you with a roadmap to read,” he said.

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