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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Continuous Learning (Part 2 of 3)

Do not miss out the magnificent first part.

 

Continuation:

If lifelong learning doesn’t necessarily mean the professional college student. If it doesn’t require us to be the person who was always asking questions in every class we ever attended. Then what are the behaviors that make up a true continuous or lifelong learner?

The Behaviors

There are some common threads among those who actively are learning and growing as professionals (and humans). Life-long, continuous learners:

Have a beginner’s mindset

If you approach anything with the mindset of an expert, you will learn nothing. With the expert’s mind, you are looking for confirmation and validation of what you already know.

A beginner on the other hand, looks constantly for one new tidbit. Or maybe one or more ways to expand on their current expertise. In other words, expert or not, they don’t think that way. They know that only with an open, beginners mind, can they benefit from the learning opportunity.

Make connections

“To make knowledge productive we will have to learn to see both forest and tree. We will have to learn to connect.”

 – Peter Drucker, famous and influential management thinker

Continuous learners do that. They continue to think about what they have learned in one part of their life. On how it relates to and connects with challenges, problems, opportunities and situations that occur in other parts of their life.

Be flexible and adaptable

Learning requires change. Continuous learners realize that they must be willing to adapt and change if they want to grow.

Always learning something new

Continuous learners learn new things “just because.” They’ve always wanted to play guitar, so they take lessons. They want to ride a unicycle, so they try it and learn how to quilt.

They learn a new language. People don’t invest the time required just so they can play “Bohemian Rhapsody” or say “good morning” in Chinese. They also do it because they realize that our brains are like muscles. The more we exercise them the stronger they will be.

 

Continue reading the last part.