How to Get "a Hand" in Life
The human handshake involves the use of thirty-two sets of complex muscles, ligaments, and tendons woven together and laced over an even more complex skeletal structure. While some may argue that a handshake is not a little matter and that it is all a natural process, I know from personal experience that it can take hours, days, and even years to master the art of a handshake. For this reason, I have developed an effective business-friendly handshake technique. My "handy" technique involves three simple steps: the lean in, the clasp, and the release.
First, when implementing my handshake process, I had to perform a few field tests. All studies indicate that someone who makes an effort to step into the handshake is more likely to receive a "call back" after a job interview. Microsoft Employment Manager over CPU Development, Bob Fuller, commented that he has tended to hire someone who "really steps up to the handshake" as opposed to a weak approach. Also, coupled with the "stepping in" is an equally important stepĖa judgment of appropriate cultural distance. In India, I have estimated that the acceptable cultural, face-to-face distance is one-and-a-half to two feet; however, in the United States, the personal comfort level stands at a three-and-a-half to four feet, and in some New England townships, at five feet. The rules involved in the lean-in process of stepping into the handshake and judging the appropriate cultural distance can, if formed with the clasp and release, seal a business transaction. First impressions are vital.
The second step in my handshake technique is the clasp. Just as important as the lean in, the clasp indicates the level of personal confidence. To achieve the impression of total control and confidence, the web-to-web union is the key. Between the index finger and the thumb, there exists a web of skin. This web, as it is called, is a hotspot of handshake success. The Federal Handbook for Handshake Success, used by the President, records events where failure to engage in the web-to-web union has almost spelled World War III for all of us. In a recent meeting with foreign dignitaries, President George W. Bush had been consuming handfuls of East Texas Boiled Peanuts, which caused his hand to slip when greeting ambassadors from Red China. With luck, the President gained control and followed through with the web-to-web union. Along with the web-to-web union, one must gauge firmness of the grip. A weak handshake says, "Iím not capable of running a country or business." A "crushing" handshake is a red flag for employers, denoting extreme dominance in someone. Finding the appropriate and moderate level of firmness says, "Iím in control, but I know how to respect authority." On the handshake firmness meter, a five- or a ten-point scale indicates the appropriate handshake level. The web-to-web union and firmness meter allows my handshake technique to be far superior to other "offhand" handshake training programs. With the clasp and the lean in discussed, job success is only a step away.
The last step in my business-friendly handshake technique is the release. After the clasp is complete and the actual handshake motion is finished, the release is another vital step. No one wants to seem too anxious or willing to "get away from someone." The release speed can say, "Iím ready to stop shaking your hand now," or it can say, "I like you a little too much." Once again, as with the cultural distance and firmness meter, moderation is the key. After the release is accomplished, stepping back from the handshake occurs. This step is much like releases at the appropriate speed. Stepping back from the handshake at a correct speed to avoid the impression of "rudeness," and the last step of my handshake technique is finished.
With the three simple steps, the lean in, the clasp, and the release, there is no wonder why my handshake technique has had so much success. It is, indeed, an affecting and business-friendly technique designed for formal interface. So far, this technique has proven effective for me and can also spell success for anyone else who tries it.
"How to Get Ďa Handí in Life" was written by Joseph Weatherford, a
freshman majoring in Middle-Upper Education at the time of this writing.
It was written for Dr. Barbara Murrayís ENGL 1101 class during fall 2002
"How to Get Ďa Handí in Life" was written by Joseph Weatherford, a freshman majoring in Middle-Upper Education at the time of this writing. It was written for Dr. Barbara Murrayís ENGL 1101 class during fall 2002 semester.