We do it all the time when we meet someone – yes, shake ones hand. And I would imagine you don’t think much about it. You stick your hand out, shake, shake, shake and then move onto your business. When you shake one’s hand correctly, you won’t be remembering the handshake – you will be remembering the person. When you shake a hand incorrectly, the other person will remember your handshake and not you – not what we intend!
In this video I will share some tips for you to understand what is key in the correct handshake, one that will add to your success in any situation, not take away from it. I also share some photos of the President of the United States shaking hands and one that are good and ones that are not and a chance for a good photo opp, well at least for the press.
Does it matter what type of handshake you give when you meet someone? In this video we will reveal how it does.
You shake hands with people throughout the day, every time you meet someone, especially here in the United States, it’s the standard greeting, a handshake. Whether you do it right or whether you do it wrong, it will impact your meeting. When you do it wrong, what is remembered is the handshake, not the person. That’s not what we want. We want people to remember us, long past the handshake. Our brains are wired to make quick, snap judgments. We automatically decide if we like the person and can trust them by their handshake. If the handshake is weak, clammy or too firm, that is what we are thinking about, not the person.
When it’s done correctly, we remember the person, not the handshake.
The President of the United States is constantly judged by his handshake. In fact, let me show you a few different photos. Every time the President shakes a hand with any dignitary, it’s a photo op. When He does it, right, you don’t hear much about it, every time it’s done poorly, we hear about it constantly.
Let’s look at a few photos of the President with other dignitaries.
The first handshake is a correct one between Trump ad Putin. These presidential photos are what we often see. In the next photo you see them shaking hands again, except notice how Trump looks like is pulling Putin over to his side, how outstretched the arm is for Putin, Trump is displaying more authority by showing Putin should come to his side.
The next photo is him and the Prime Minister of Japan. A typical photo during a press conference. Then we have another handshake which shows Trump in a weaker position and the prime Minister more dominant, all due to the positioning. It is very important for the Presidents to understand the positioning of the right handshake. Trump understand this an in the next photo, you see hi placing his hand over the Prime Minister to show more authority and unity.
In the next photo you see Trump shaking hands with the President of France and his wife, well actually they are holding hands. It appears that He wants to show acceptance and appreciate for both, although it becomes more of a miss-step than anything else, at least for the citizens of the United States.
This last photo is especially awkward, it doesn’t’ show either of them in a strong image for leadership. It looks like a handshake where one of them forgot to release.
These were just a few examples of some handshakes. I am showing President Trump because he is our current President as I a creating this video, although I could have easily used any photos of past presidents.
Fortunately, when we shake hands, we don’t have the press around us photographing our every move – although is we did, what would your photos reveal?
Here are key steps to take for a correct handshake.
- Face the person directly, straight on.
- Look them in the eyes, good eye contact.
- Reach for their hand with our hand in the neutral position. Hand open, reach for their hand.
- Shake 1 to 3 times then release.
The phrase, “upper hand” can be applied to a handshake. If you turn your hand so the back of your hand is facing up when you shake their hand, you are revealing your upper hand and showing dominance. The other person will feel this is dominant. If that is your intention, great. If you are shaking hands with a prospect, you will appear too aggressive and your prospect ill subconsciously feel this. You can use the upper hand instead by giving it to your prospect, simply turn your hand slightly in the handshake.
If you shake hands with our palm up, the under hand, you are showing submissiveness. You may have experience this before, and this type of hand shake reveals low confidence – not what you want to convey in your first meeting.
First impressions are the lasting ones. A few quick tips for you to think about and use the next time you shake hands with someone, be intentional in your actions. You may be thinking the way I shake hands is trivial and unimportant. Trust me. It’s important because our handshake says so much about us and how the rest of the meeting will progress. Here at Creatively Communicate. we know it’s all about “how you say it” more than what you say.
A good handshake will lead to more success.