What ever happened to the Handshake?
I remember when a man showed his best in that very first greeting. A firm grip, and a solid dose of eye contact were the norm.
It also used to signal a successful verbal transaction, just as iron clad as a signature at the bank.
But now days? I really get the feeling that is only offered as a situational obligation.
My job requires hiring from time to time, so I greet a bunch of guys who should be trying to impress me, after all I have something they want. Most of them are younger guys, under the age of twenty five.
Their handshakes are disappointing at best and leave me to wonder about their character. I don’t mean I think these guys are murders, or thieves, but first impressions are everything. Especially when I have about half an hour’s worth of time to decide if you would fit in with the crew and myself.
Guys, (and girls, I don’t want you feeling left out) when you have an impression to make on someone in a short amount of time the best thing you can do is man up that handshake!
I’m not saying to go all Hulk Hogan with the grip, but present that hand proudly and follow it up with a grip strong enough to let me know our meeting is worth something to you. Hell just match mine!
Body language says bunches more than your mouth can. And when you flop a hand out as though the bones in it were removed, that tells me things like “Yeah, Mom took away my xbox controller and made me show up.”
Just the kind of thing every potential boss wants to hear!
And just what goes along with a proud handshake? You guessed it- Look me in the eye BOY!!! (This one has to be my biggest pet peeve!)
A boy’s eyes wander, a man‘s eyes should be directly connected to his purpose. Our eyes should be locked for the length of time our hands are. Not a hard “I want to kill something” sort of glare, but look with intensity.
It’s respect, and you ain’t getting from me what you ain’t giving. You’ll see it in my eye if your looking, but if you aren’t then you missed the offer of it.
Same as your grip, that eye contact tells me you want to be there and have something to offer over and above the guy who just left. Without it, well, I am left to guess which pathetic excuse I’ll here from you within your first week on the job.
“Hey Boss, won’t be making it in. I got my panties in a bunch this morning, and can’t figure out what to do about it.”
I hate to tell ya, but unless your a miracle worker you’ve a better chance at being struck by lightning than gaining my respect in a half hour after a fish flop, eye dodging greeting.
Finally at the end of our half hour, I’m going to give you one last chance. If we agree on a job for you, my hand will be outstretched and ready. (If not, well any sort of shake will get you out the door.)
Take it and give me a real handshake as stated above. I need a reason to stop the interview process, not second guess your intentions to start a job.
Should you actually surprise me and show up for your first day, then I’ll have to call the guy who interviewed behind you and tell him the position has been filled… for the moment.
It’s not that hard guys. And I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who thinks this way.
Just think for a second from my point of view- I am about to hand you keys to big boy toys of all sorts. Dozers, excavators, trucks, mowers, even a road grader (once you learn it). How in the world am I supposed to hand those keys over to someone who can’t even grip my hand with the strength it takes to man the controls?
Should I find you trust worthy enough even though you can’t look me in the eye? If you think so, then you need to tell me why I should. In my world scammers, liars, and cheats avoid eye contact. Does that sound like a trustworthy lot to you?
It’s not just job interviews either. Whether you think so or not, no matter what handshake you offer for whatever reason, it is a scale by which your character is questioned. If you want to remove that question and show someone you are proud of who you are, then Man Up That Handshake!