The Vital Importance Of Your Handshake
Hi, it’s Diederik Gelderman here again. Thank you so much for the likes and feedback that I’ve had for the previous video.
Today, we’re going to share a strategy with you that may not be particularly comfortable for you. That being said, it is an extremely valuable and important strategy, and I would very strongly suggest that you implement and use this strategy IMMEDIATELY – because it’s going to massively improve your ability to be liked, trusted, respected and hugely going to improve your communication—overall communication—ability. And, what is this strategy that is going to be a little bit challenging for you? It’s the handshake.
When we touch someone, when someone touches us, we and they both release a hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin is called the hormone of connection; it’s also called the cuddle hormone.
Hey – I’m not going to ask you to cuddle the person that you are meeting ☺.
In European society, it’s a lot more common to hug the person you are meeting – something important to remember.
On a serious note, when you meet someone in Europe, you’ll typically put your hands on their shoulders or around their waist and kiss them once on each cheek, that type of thing. There’s a lot more oxytocin released in both those people when you do that than there is with us in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the States, where it’s typically only the handshake that’s exchanged – unless we know that person very well.
Studies show that a handshake, a simple handshake builds as much rapport and connection and trust as does a 3-HOUR face-to-face communication, a sit down face-to-face meeting.
- You can really, really short-circuit your being liked, your being trusted, your being respected and therefore improve your communication by a thing as simple as a handshake.
When I talk about a handshake, I’m talking between man and woman, woman and man, man and man, and woman and woman. It doesn’t’ matter who you are meeting for the first time, I’m going to very, very strongly suggest that you get over any yips that you’ve got, and shake their hand.
Now, while we’re on this, what is the quality of a good handshake?
A handshake should be palm level, vertical handshake, it should be a firm touch. Now, a limp handshake—ooh, jeez, that doesn’t work at all, and someone that power squeezes you, it’s the same sort of thing.
The way to practice the handshake is to practice on your own hand, and practice making a firm grip, whether it’s like this, or whether it’s like this. Just try shaking your hands just like this and see how it feels for you.
Develop a nice firm solid handshake, not too strong, not too weak. Palms should be dry. And then, an up and down, one or two or three times – vertical movement.
Now, if you’re in a networking situation, here’s a quick tip; if you have a glass of some sort of drink, alcoholic or not alcoholic in your hand, it’s typically going to be a cold glass, and your hand may therefore be wet from the glass, so I’m going to suggest that you get a napkin and wrap one or two or three napkins around that glass so that your hands stays dry or you have a spare napkin in your pocket so you can put your glass down, before you meet someone, dry your hand and then give them a hand shake.
Now, as I said a little bit earlier, in Europe, hands on shoulders, check to check, kiss, a lot more oxytocin released, a lot more connection developed.
Therefore, you may ask, “Diederik, what about if I do a double clasp handshake?”
Yup absoluteley a double clasp handshake is going to give you lots more connection, lots more oxytocin release.
But, a double clasp handshake is also a real sign of “I’m superior to you, I’ve got you under my thumb, or in my hands,” as it were, and a typical example at the moment is Donald Trump.
You’ll see him doing this double-clasp handshake with all sorts of people all over the world, and they’re almost pulling their hands away and they’re in effect saying “You’re not the boss.”
I would never do a double-clasp handshake, it doesn’t work for me, it makes me feel embarrassed and icky. If it works for you, go for you it. If it’s natural for you, go for it, but don’t force it one someone.
The other thing is, the way to do a handshake correctly is that you step towards them and put your hand out. If they put their hand bag or their laptop between you and them, or between them and you, or if they take a step back, then you know that handshake is not going to happen, it’s not for them.
Then you can then very easily pull your hand away and no one is embarrassed.
But, typically, you’ll step forward and put your hand — we’ll talk about personal zones, private body zones in a future video — and when you’re putting your hand out, you’re moving into one of their personal zones, and if they move forward and put their hand out, that’s a really great sign and that’s a really great increase in connectedness and connection.
If they are a bit uncomfortable with you moving into that personal zone or with the handshake itself, then they have the opportunity to easily step back.
If you do the handshake that way you can make use of two things that way, the handshake and the power of proxemics—proxemics is the study of space and distance between two people.
Now, the other thing with the handshake as I said earlier, it should be vertical.
If someone grabs your hand and turns your hand down, that means that they’re trying to dominate you and say that they’re ‘better’ than you are, and the other way around as well…
If you’re doing this over someone’s hand, then they’re going to get the feeling that you’re dominating them and that you’re better than they are.
So, I’m going to very strongly suggest that at all times you keep your hand vertical.
If someone does this to you and pushes your hand down, you can either accept it — which is why I do, and I make a mental note saying “Ha, I saw you do that. I’m going to keep that in mind in future.”
But, there’s plenty of people who I know who will actually just cock that hand straight back up and straighten it and say the equivalent of “No, I’m on an equal level with you”, by verticallying up both those hands.
Now, they’re not the words that they say, but that’s the information that is shared on a body to body basis.
If you’re comfortable flicking the hand straight up, go for it, if you’re not comfortable doing it like I’m not comfortable and I accept that they are putting their hand over/on-top of mine, then as I said, I would note and remember this and in a future occasion I’d remember what they were trying to achieve. So, you could do that as well.
So, that’s the power of the hand shake. It’s vitally important that you shake people’s hand because it’s equivalent to a 3-HOUR conversation, and you get a whole heap more of connectedness, trust and rapport building because of that handshake.
This is your task this week, should you choose to accept it, as they say in the movies.
This is your task for the next week, practice the handshake, see you next week.
A quick call to action before we finish. Please go to the BodyLanguageAustralia.com website, there are lots of tools and resources there that you can download that’ll help you in improving and practicing your body language.
I’d also be really appreciative if you ‘liked’ my BLA Facebook page.
See you next week. Bye.