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Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Handshake: What is the perfect handshake?

Many of us know what it is like to receive a handshake that just doesn’t do it justice. From extra hard handshakes to soft and limp handshakes there are ranges that are on offer but just which one is the one for you? Well to be honest there is only one perfect handshake and to understand which one it is we need to look at the reason why we use handshakes.

Handshaking is a form of greeting. It’s the very first thing we do to greet and build rapport with people. In fact it shows our strength to an issue, our behaviour type and motive for the meeting. So if our handshake is to build a relationship what should we do? Well in communication the correct way is the way the other person understands. This means to build rapport you need to show and share similarities with the person you are trying to build rapport with. By showing that you are similar you build a character that the other person can relate to. In other words, by mirroring the client or other person you will build a relationship with similarities.

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with a handshake. Well if you shook someone’s hand and you were extremely stronger than the other person do you think this will build or detract from the relationship? Likewise if you go in with a soft handshake and the person you approach has a strong handshake, will this help? No. Ultimately you need to match the other person’s behaviour to build a relationship as by doing something that detracts from the meeting will not help.

To show you on a different level why it is important to mirror the behaviour of your guest, some cultures do not shake hands at all. To shake hands with someone that doesn’t shake hands it can have detrimental effects on the meeting. People from different parts of the world will do things differently and if you can help them feel comfortable by greeting them they way they wish to be greeted you are a step ahead. Even in some places city people will greet differently to country people. Some may come up close to you and shake your hand others may just wave and stand away from you comfortable. You need to realise greeting people in their language or the way they greet is a way of respect and will help you in building rapport. Body Language Expert Sales Training

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