How you respond and how you interact with people speaks volumes about you and them. The handshake is my favorite method of non-verbal information gathering. I’ve met amazing mentors, started businesses, and made new friends simply by striking up a conversation.
Not sure about how to start? Offer a compliment. There’s always something attractive or admirable to notice about a stranger. Be sincere about it. Put your hand out, introduce yourself and shake with the I’m Sincerely Pleased to Meet You shake. With a solid grip and meaningful eye contact – don’t forget a personal comment.
What does your handshake say? If you are in a continual rush and you normally present the obligatory up-down jerk shake while avoiding eye contact – your manner will say Isn’t There Someone More Interesting Here? or I’d Rather Be Someplace Else. Does your handshake convey sincerity or rote, robotic disinterest? Is it insecure, limp or non-inviting?
How often do you pay attention when you interact with people? Think about how you present yourself, which is something that anyone at any level can work on. Setting up a monthly lunch with colleagues from other companies in your field, making a plan to meet someone who can teach you things all add to building relationships with people on your own level in your field.
Remember, we’re all equal. Just because someone is powerful, rich or famous doesn’t mean they are better than you. Practice equalizing yourself with others – remembering this will enable you to more comfortably interact with others.
So this week, try the Sincere shake on three people you haven’t spoken with before. Take the risk and speak from the heart – palm-up networking will win them over every time!
Christine Comaford, Executive Coach
CEO of Mighty Ventures, Inc.
NY Times Best Selling Author http://businessaccelerationintensive.com
PS: Want to work with the BIG players? Business Acceleration and an experienced Coach are always the key.