two person shaking hands

Great Handshakes (Part 2 of 2)

Please read the first part here!

 

Continuation:

 

Go for the thumb

Keep your hand open and make sure your handshake will be a hand shake, not a finger or palm shake. This means getting the joint of your thumb nestled into the joint of their thumb. The lower joint, the tissue between your thumb to your forefinger. This allows you to truly have a full handshake.

Firm, not strong

A good handshake is firm but not overpowering. It isn’t the precursor to a wrestling match, and it doesn’t feel like a dead fish. Do you wanted to be handed or greeted with a dead fish? I doubt it! Always make your grip firm, but make adjustments based on the firmness of the other person’s grip.

Up and down, not back and forth

A good handshake has a nice up and down motion, not a back and forth one. As if you were jointly trying to saw some wood. Again, adjust the motion to what seems natural and comfortable to the other person.

 Adjust duration

Some people prefer a long handshake, others prefer them much shorter. Observe the other person and adjust the duration to the situation, how well you know the person, and what seems comfortable to them.

Consider your left hand

While it may not be appropriate in some cultures, I often use my other hand to grasp the other side of the person’s hand or to touch their arm. This gesture makes the handshake warmer and more personal. When I am trying to convey those feelings I include my left hand as well. You might consider doing that too.

Close with eye contact and a smile

If the smile and eye contact hasn’t continued throughout the handshake, finish it out that way.

 

After re-reading and thinking about these several times, I realized that the deeper key to handshakes (as with many things in life) is intention.

Keep your focus on the other person, and you will naturally do many of the things on the list. You will make the handshake a natural part of your connection process. Make an eye contact. You will smile and connect. Naturally adjust your grip and focus on the other person.

As a leader or a person responsible for interacting with Customers in any way, the value of this skill is obvious. The fact is though that having a great handshake is a life skill we should all cultivate. It matters to us in creating first impressions and in building relationships.

 

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two persons about to initiate a handshake

Great Handshakes (Part 1 of 2)

Something we do often, then forget about it

It’s something most of us do often. We shake hands. We shake hands with long-time friends, with old acquaintances and with brand-new people. Shaking hands here and shaking hands there.

I took a class in college where they taught us how to shake hands. I remember thinking at the time, maybe more than 20 years ago. That everyone should know how shakes hands effectively.

Then, as I reflected, I realized that I had shaken more than a few hands that needed those lessons. I thought then, and agree now that a friend taught me the basics and importance of good handshakes.

The first impression

In much of the world, the handshake is a part of the first impression that we make. People think about first impressions from a grooming and dress standpoint.

In business situations they practice what they might say. They often read books to learn what kinds of questions to ask to remain authentic and create a positive first impression.

And while all of that is important, it is the handshake, often overlooked and forgotten. That is the first physical information others receive about us at the early part of a relationship.

In other words, handshakes matter.

And a strong one can make a big difference.

An American colleague who has now been living and teaching in Japan for some time must agree. She emailed me and part of the email reads:

” Next week is the beginning of the school year – and I really want to get my new students off to the best possible start. Would you be willing to share your thoughts on how to give a really great handshake? I have been away from the U.S. for so long, and have few opportunities to practice (though my bowing has gotten really good :)) “

Here are the secrets to great handshakes, assembled to respond to her earnest request

Start with eye contact and a smile

A great handshake isn’t just about a physical gesture, it is about connecting with the other person. It is a physical greeting and you want to convey your pleasure in greeting the other person. The best way to do that is with your face and your eyes.

 

Continue reading the last part.

man on suit in front of computer explaining something to sitting lady

An Ideal Leader (Part 2 of 2)

Do not miss out the first part.

 

Continuation:

 

Not about what you make others do

Being a leader is not about what you make others do. It’s about who you are, what you know, and what you do. You are a reflection of what you’re subordinates must be.

Studies have shown that one other bases of good leadership is the trust and confidence your subordinates have of you. If they trust you they will go through hell and high water for you and for the organization.

Trust and confidence

Trust and confidence is built on good relationships, trustworthiness, and high ethics.

The way you deal with your people, and the relationships you build will lay the foundation for the strength of your group. The stronger your relationship, the stronger their trust and confidence is in your capabilities.

Once you have their trust and confidence, you may now proceed to communicate the goals and objectives you are to undertake.

The key

Communication is a very important key to good leadership. Without this you cannot be a good leader. The knowledge and technical expertise you have must be clearly imparted to other people.

Also, you cannot be a good leader and unless you have good judgment. You must be able to assess situations, weigh the pros and cons of any decision, and actively seek out a solution.

It is this judgment that your subordinates will come to rely upon. Therefore, good decision-making is vital to the success of your organization.

Not do-it-all heroes

Leaders are not do-it-all heroes. You should not claim to know everything, and you should not rely upon your skills alone.

You should recognize and take advantage of the skills and talents your subordinates have. Only when you come to this realization will you be able to work as one cohesive unit.

Cannot be learned overnight

Remember being a leader takes a good deal of work and time. It is not learned overnight. Remember, also, that it is not about just you. It is about you and the people around you.

Are you a leader?

So, do you have the drive and the desire to serve required of leaders? Do you have the desire to work cooperatively with other people? Then start now. Take your stand and be leader today.

 

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man on suit doing hand signal in front of his laptop

An Ideal Leader (Part 1 of 2)

The qualities

An ideal leader get things done and make things happen though odds are low.

Are you frustrated at work, when things don’t seem to be happening the way they’re supposed to be?

You see people milling around but no accomplishments. And in the daily hustle and bustle, do you feel that your goals remain as goals. Then maybe its time for you to stand up and do something about it.

Most people are content just to stand around listening for orders. And it isn’t unusual to adopt a follow-the-leader mentality. But maybe, somewhere inside of you, you feel the desire to make things happen – to be the head, not the tail. Then maybe leadership just suits you fine.

Leaders, made or born?

Some people believe that great leaders are made, not born. Yes, it may be true that some people are born with natural talents. However, without practice, without drive, without enthusiasm, and without experience, there can be no true development in leadership.

You must also remember that good leaders are continually working and studying to improve their natural skills. This takes a commitment to constantly improve in whatever endeavor a person chooses.

Definition of Leadership

First of all, let’s define leadership. To be a leader, one must be able to influence others to accomplish a goal, or an objective. He contributes to the organization and cohesion of a group.

Contrary to what most people believe, leadership is not about power. It is not about harassing people or driving them using fear. Rather it is about encouraging others towards the goal of the organization.

It is putting everyone on the same page and helping them see the big picture of the organization. You must be a leader not a boss.

You have to get people to follow you.

How is this accomplished?

People follow others when they see a clear sense of purpose. People will only follow you if they see that you know where you are going. Remember that bumper sticker? The one that says, don’t follow me, I’m lost too?

The same holds true for leadership. If you yourself do not know where you’re heading to, chances are people will not follow you at all.

You yourself must know the vision of the organization. Having a clear sense of hierarchy, knowing who the bosses are, who to talk to, the organization’s goals and objectives, and how the organization works is the only way to show others you know what you are doing.

 

Continue reading the last part.

Working And Living Are Two Different Things (Part 2 of 2)

Do not dare to miss to first part.

 

Continuation:

When someone asks you to take an hour out of work to do something during the day, tell them that you’ll have to make that hour up at the end of the day, so they shouldn’t expect you out of the office until an hour later than usual.

Don’t Do Chores.

It can be tempting to do laundry or dishes when there’s a load of them to do and work seems slow. But don’t give it to it during your working day. Chores eat up an amazing amount of time.

Resist the temptation by wearing better clothes than you usually would when you’re working. Not a suit, but something business-casual that you wouldn’t really be willing to wash dishes in.

Have a Business Phone Line.

You need a phone line that’s just for business to let clients leave messages when you’re not in the office. Say exactly that in the message: ‘I’m not in the office right now, but please leave your name and number and I’ll get back to you’.

Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to take business calls after-hours. Nor give out your personal number to business contacts.

This is a sure-fire way to never stop working. Turn off the ringer on your business phone when you leave the office for the day.

With Children, All Bets are Off.

If you have children at home during the day, it can be very difficult to maintain a sensible work pattern. They will come and bother you at every opportunity, because they miss you and want to see you.

They’ll even cause trouble just to get you to sort it out. They wanted to come and bother you at your office job too, but they had no way of getting there.

So what can you do when there are children in the house? After all, it’s harsh to just ignore them, isn’t it?

The best answer I’ve found is to hire a babysitter, who can keep the kids entertained while you work. It could get expensive, but it shouldn’t be for long, right?

 

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