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The Power of a Handshake


The French kiss, the Japanese bow; the Malays put hand on heart, the Tibetan people stick tongue out and the New Zealanders touch nose. But whether it is the limp noodle, the bone crusher, the fancy fool, the lingerer, the rusher, the look away or the perfect handshake, the handshake is the most acceptable greeting worldwide. In fact, when John F Kennedy was running for president of the United States of America, he commissioned a study to determine the most effective handshake.

A handshake transcends cultures. Many people underestimate the power of a handshake because they do not realize the message a handshake sends. It reveals whether you are trustworthy, confident and competent, and whether you follow through.

Do you know the impression are you making with your handshake? Recently, someone reached out to shake my hand and left me feeling cheated! His palm barely brushed over half of my palm. It was a limp noodle handshake. “What was that?” I muttered. I was disappointed.

Robert E Brown and Dorothea Johnson, authors of “The Power of Handshaking” said “Handshaking is a valuable form of nonverbal communication. It is a form of interactive body language that offers insights into how the other person views the world, him or herself, and you. It is a vital, though usually subconscious, part of creating a first impression and sending a parting message.”

According to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, everyone should pay close attention to their handshake. People are making judgments and basing their initial opinions of you off of this small, but formidable gesture. To make a winning first impression, you need a powerful handshake. To stand out from the competition, you need a powerful handshake. To land the job, you need a powerful handshake. Many people have lost job and business opportunities due to a poor handshake. That’s how important a powerful handshake is.

Jennifer Cohen in an article titled “Seven super revealing things your handshake said about you.” Suggested that you make your handshake your best friend and secret weapon. However, first you must discover what the handshake that you currently have reveals about you and your personality and the first impression that you give off.

Join us next week as we explore the message behind each handshake.

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