I love a hand job!!

I love a hand job, giving and receiving; tells me such a lot about a person. You love a hand job, we all love giving and receiving hand jobs… sometimes they make us happy and excited, and at other times sad and disappointed. People react in different ways to hand jobs; in formal situations hand jobs can make us nervous andapprehensive, but do you know the difference between a good and a bad hand job? Wow, you could have been giving a bad hand job for years and not even realise – no, no one will tell you – I know people who have appalling hand job skills and it’s a very sensitive topic to bring up in conversation… Now I have got your attention!Now I have got your attention!

According to Wikipedia “A handshake is a short ritual in which 2 people grasp one of each other’s hands, in most cases by a brief up and down movement of the grasped hands”.

Professor William Chaplin from St John’s University, New York has conducted a fascinating study on handshakes and has shown “a person’s handshake is consistent over time and is related to his or her personality”. “Men generally have a firmer handshake than women; women who are more liberal, intellectual, and open to new experiences have a firmer handshake”

And it is one of the most important things you do when you meet someone for the first time.

I spend a lot of my time on the phone and so have generally built up some rapport with people prior to meeting them – the handshake speaks volumes for so many reasons. Too firm – I am a girl, and petite please don’t crush the fingers. Too weak – feeling bilious, want to get my hand out of yours and generally run like hell!!

I meet lots of people at trade shows and this brings its own complications, as I tend to be carrying things when I get onto stands and being a leftie I carry everything in my right arm – I’m easy to spot at a trade show (never wear my badge), I’m the one in the 3” red heels moving stuff from arm to arm as I walk on to a stand. You cannot under any circumstances offer your left hand for a handshake; I suspect that will unmask the matrix!!

I cannot stress enough how important the handshake is in an interview (or indeed any) situation, for all parties:

  • If you are the interviewer and your candidate is shown into your office then please make the effort to get up to shake a candidates hand – remaining seated is not only rude it implies disinterest and self importance.
  • If you are left handed make sure you are not carrying things in your left hand as it confuses the person you are greeting; you lose the momentum of the ‘shake’.
  • Keep eye contact during the handshake (but don’t stare).
  • Stand tall when shaking a hand (shoulders back).
  • If you have a tendency to have sweaty palms/hot/sticky palms make sure you wash your hands is really cold water (dry them well).
  • I would say that a general rule of thumb is that 2 shakes is enough, you don’t want to maintain the handshake too long or it will become really awkward for both parties
  • Be confident with it, even if you don’t feel it, it’s all about the projection – that’s a whole other blog!!
  • Smile when you are shaking someone’s hand, you are touching them (you’re in their personal space) and looking them, so smile or you will be considered sinister.
  • Step forward with your handshake as that gives natural confidence and rhythm to your handshake, however you can only do this if you are not that close – if you both do it and you are too close you are dancing!!
  • Practice your handshake and ask people what they think a weak handshake implies a weak person and anyone looking to recruit a weak person is almost always not someone you would want to work for.

So now I have given you all of these pointers it maybe that you want to alter your style, after all the communication behind the handshake is massive; it conveys confidence, or highlights a lack of, and this cannot be undone. A handshake style is hard to change as it will feel alien and unnatural for you, but believe me a little discomfort will pay dividends. But don’t try to do all of these things at once I don’t want anyone to over think this. Above all a handshake should look and feel natural – whether it is or not doesn’t matter!!

Apparently the handshake will soon be obsolete – the young people are doing it differently!! Having done lots of searching about the subject it would appear that handshaking is ‘so last season’ and the youth are fist bumping – it’s the future!! Its their most common form of greeting and the youth of today are the chairmen of of the board tomorrow – I really, really hope it doesn’t catch on!!

Something you want me to blog about? Let me know, I just might!!

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