This video answers:
How to read the body language of handshakes
Here’s the Transcription:
Hi. I’m Traci Brown, and welcome to the 21 Day Body Language Makeover. I am thrilled that you’ve joined me in these 21 days so that you can remake your body language, be a lot more effective, know what’s going on across from you, and learn how to strategically use your body language to persuade and influence.
So let’s jump right in. Let’s talk about a handshake. It’s the first thing that you usually do when you meet someone. Now, there’s a lot of information in a handshake so I want you to start to pay attention.
First thing that you do is notice, is it a parallel shape with about even grip. This says hey, they want to play evenly. We’re on even terms here.
If you get a handshake where someone shakes your hand and turns your palm up and their palm down, so they shake your hand, turn their palm down, that says they have a deep unconscious need to be in control.
So you’ve got some choices to make. You can let them be in control. You can spin your idea so they think they’re their ideas and that’s a really powerful place to be, or you don’t have to play their game at all if you don’t want to deal with someone who’s being a control freak, but not outwardly saying it.
What if they shake your hand and turn their palm up? Well, that’s a sign that says they want to be open and hospitable and do just about whatever you want. Again, they’ve given you a lot of power so be careful what you ask for because they are probably going to say yes to it. Make sure it’s a win-win because I’m not the karma police, but when you start to know this about them you’re going to be able to get a lot of things from them that maybe you wouldn’t normally.
Now what if someone shakes your hand and gives you a bone cruncher, like they grab your hand so hard that it hurts. Well, that’s another sign that they want to be in control and you know how to handle that. Just let them be in control or make sure their ideas sound good to you or make sure you’re getting them to buy into your ideas so that they own them.
Now what if you get a handshake that’s like dead fish? You’ll get this from women. We’ve only really been socially acceptable to handshaking since the early 80s. It’s not something that we used to do, so as a gender we’re just not as good at it. So if you get a dead fish, really limp handshake, it sends a message that there’s no backbone there, there’s no strength, there’s no power, and in business that’s what we need is at least a little bit of strength. So if you know them, hey, let them know. You know what, your handshake could be a little more firm or you’re going to send a really different message. That’s how someone coached me way back in high school about my handshake.
Now if you meet someone from an Asian country or they have an Asian background or you’re in Asia, then you may get a dead fish, very limp feeling handshake. That’s polite in that culture, so you don’t want to meet them with a firm grip, bone cruncher handshake because they’re going to think you’re rude. You’re going to think they’re wishy washy. That’s not what you want, so you need to make sure you introduce some cultural acceptance and cultural understanding into shaking hands with this kind of person so that you’re honoring their culture and knowing the message that they’re sending because that is a message of strength and it is a message of being very polite.
So pay attention and remember if you don’t pay attention you pay with pain. So watch and feel, more importantly, what you’re going to get from other people. You’ll find it really fun.
Sign up for Traci’s monthly Body Language and Persuasion Tips!