I took a Marketing class in High School. In one of the first classes, we went through how to shake hands.
My teacher – who was a woman – went around the room shaking everyone’s hands. Then, she broke down what had happened.
As we all shook her hand, many gave her a soft grip. Particularly the men. Pretty much instinctively.
What she explained, was that by not giving her a firm handshake, you are not putting her on equal ground.
This was burned in my mind. Always have a firm handshake.
Not as a power move to get the upper hand. A handshake that says, I see you, I hear you, I respect you, and with no judgement, I am glad to meet you.
This is one of the many things I admire about my grandfather.
No matter who you were, he gave you the best handshake.
It was firm.
He looked you in the eye and made sure you knew that you mattered. Then, he would proceed to have a conversation with you.
The conversation would flow like you were best friends. You could sense he genuinely wanted to talk to you, because he genuinely did.
Never an ounce of judgement came from him. As far as he was concerned, you were equals. And if you asked for help, having just met him, he would give it if he could.
No questions asked.
His handshake always reflected this. It never wavered.
I’m not sure I have met anyone else like that.
The world needs more people like my grandfather. But, that’s a tough ask.
At least, let’s not underestimate the power of a handshake.