I’m filing this one under ‘Blogging Tips’ because that’s where any business advice I give goes, AND, the idea for this post was generated by my encounter with many many many bad handshakes in the blogging space. Now I can’t talk too much shit on the ‘millennials,’ since as of yesterday I found out I’m technically one of them, but honestly, many girls younger than me seem to be A LOT younger than me.
In my opinion, social media has changed the way people develop socially and emotionally. The art of having proper social skills has somewhat gone out the window since we “follow” each other and already know what’s going on in each other’s lives. However, there is something refreshing about an old school conversation getting to know someone new or catching up with a friend. I’m somewhat of a traditionalist in that way. I enjoy talking in person, the phone is impersonal and quite honestly too distracting–if we are talking on the phone I’m probably multi-tasking and not giving you 100% of my attention.
I can confidently say that if I was to meet someone for the first time over the phone rather in person I wouldn’t be impressive. My phone skills suck. My timing is off–I never know when I’m supposed to reply, if you’re done talking, how to transition into something else without being awkward–I’d much rather meet someone in person so I can read their body language, make eye contact, and get that first handshake.
Ahhh, handshakes. So old school but so telling. Before I began blogging I worked a “normal” job as a buyer and later moved into wholesale, where I was always meeting new people. I was always the youngest (plus I look like 12 years younger than my actual age) and was super underestimated. In my early 20’s it was my mission in life to prove everyone wrong and present myself in a very professional manner. Everything from my organizational skills, email composition, attire, and of course, handshake, needed to be top notch. That was the only way anyone would see past my age & gender (more on that later if you’re interested) and take me seriously (or give me the raise I asked for).
I started noticing that in a predominantly male industry, I was getting many compliments on my handshake. I’m sure seeing a 20-something 5’3″ little girl they expected some limpy handshake (yuck!), but I was taught to be firm. I liked the reaction. I don’t even have to think about it anymore, my handshake is firm, I look you in the eye, and smile while introducing myself. Today I’m still getting complimented on my handshake, but now by women, and I love it. It might sound weird, but it’s sort of validating. I feel like people take me a tad more serious when they realize I understand the importance of a good handshake.
To me there is nothing worse when meeting someone for the first time than a shitty handshake. What makes a shitty handshake? Limpy hands, or broken wrists as I like to call it, no eye contact, or “the squeeze.” The squeeze is when someone doesn’t “shake,” they just squeeze your hand (even worse when it’s a limpy squeeze LOL). If you’re unsure of your handshake go practice on someone who will be honest. I promise you it’s a worthy trait to have, especially in business.
Images borrowed from Pinterest. Sources unknown.