Just like we form an impression about someone by what they’re wearing (yes, we do assess a book by its cover), how we shake hands speaks volumes about our self-confidence and personality. Different cultures have different greetings, but here are some basics:
What are the 7 Ingredients to a Confident Handshake?
1. Eye contact. Look into the other person’s right eye (the one on your left if you’re looking at them). Good eye contact shows self-confidence and receptiveness. Eyes are the windows to the soul!
2. Introduce yourself. Speak up before you extend your hand. Shoving your hand out before introducing yourself appears too aggressive.
3. Match their grip. Now is not the time for a power struggle, or to show-off the hand strength you’ve built with your Gripmaster Hand Exerciser. Match the other person’s grasp, keeping in mind that they may have some sort of hand injury or arthritis that prevents them from clasping your hand too tightly.
4. Avoid extending the “fish hand”. Yeah, you know the kind. ‘Nuf said.
5. Use your entire hand. If you’re at a débutante ball, a woman may use the “kiss the back of my hand” type of handshake. In general society, a ‘lady finger’ handshake isn’t appropriate.
6. 2-3 pumps. A handshake should only last a few seconds. More than 2-3 pumps is considered too personal, intimate, and intrusive.
7. Pump only an inch or two. Shake from the elbow (not the shoulder) and only go up and down a slight bit. You don’t want to rip someone’s arm off.
Don’t worry if you make a mistake. A smile can ‘end wars and cure cancer’!
What’s your biggest frustration when you shake hands?
What you wear matters: increase mental acuity and form a lasting first impression
Thoughts on Montana
Politicians in Montana buckled under critical editorials and social media attention and adapted a softer dress code. The first draft was a full, one-page detailed dress code that condemned jeans, sweatshirts, open-toed sandals, and flip-flops for all members. However, the new one-liner is much less specific and has now been reduced to this:
“We ask that members of the House and other professionals working on the floor dress in professional business attire that is befitting the honor of the institution of the Montana House of Representatives.”
Just a quick thought for today: why is it that when someone is looking for a job, detailed help on “what not to wear” is welcomed, but when you have a job a dress code is suddenly rejected?
Like it or not, people access us and form a lasting impression within the first 7-seconds of observing our outward appearance and body language. Do you want that impression to be positive on a daily basis?
Studies have also shown that what we wear has an effect on our job performance. In the study, participants were given identical white coats to wear. Those who were told it was a doctor’s jacket showed a marked increase in their mental acuity, carefulness, and end outcomes. Those who were told it was a painter’s jacket did not. If we feel empowered by what we’re wearing, our mental state and physical actions change accordingly–increasing or decreasing our execution and final outcome.
What we wear impacts not only whether or not someone is hired but what salary they are offered, impacts our mental state, and dictates the instant impression people form about us. Doesn’t it make sense to dress with that in mind?