Here’s another Maclean’s video interview where I am asked about the non-verbal communication of President Trump with others, including James Comey. It’s a quick analysis of Trump’s ‘aggressive’ off-balancing TrumpShake, his open arm and head nod gesture (including chin thrust) to James Comey, and Comey’s initial hesitations, uncomfortable hand-wringing gesture and his seemingly strong desire to not show rapport with Trump, and escape the scene ASAP. Enjoy!
Everyone is talking about President Trump’s power handshakes, and today everyone is proud of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for not allowing Trump to bully-handshake him at their White house meeting yesterday. I was contacted yesterday myself by Maclean’s Magazine for an interview on my thoughts on their non-verbal communication. That short video can be seen here, but be advised the interview was done before the video was made, so my comments do not necessarily match up with the images shown.
Are handshakes such a big deal? Well, yes, they are. They show non-verbal communication intentions on dominance, control, balance and openness. They are worthy of a bit of study, and I will give some tips on what to do or not do when shaking hands, particularly at a political or business function.
To start, ‘medium’ is the rule to remember. Walk at a medium pace, speak with medium voice/volume, gesture and shake hands with medium speed. This shows you are calm and in control of yourself.
After a calm approach, you should make sure you are engaged in eye contact and then smile as you extend your hand. Maintain good posture as you approach and extend the hand. Don’t bend at the waist (unless in Asia or with Asian delegates) and don’t over-extend your arm so you appear too eager and/or off-balance. Introduce yourself (e.g. Hello – I’m Ric. Nice to meet you!) and connect hands (not fingers) evenly, palm to palm. Be ‘firm but fair’ to the other people in your networking circles! Never crush a hand and never offer a seemingly ‘broken wrist’ or ‘just-fingers’ weak handshake. Both hands should be level – do not twist the hands to either extreme side, if possible. I am not a fan of twisting someone’s hand so that my palm is up and they have ‘the upper hand’ now, or vice versa. Let’s start off on equal footing, shall we?
Pump your hands 2-4 times, gently and evenly, and repeat the person’s name after they introduce themselves to help you retain that new information if necessary. There is usually no need for extra tactics, like using your free hand to clasp the hands while shaking (the double) or patting the shoulder of the person you are engaging (the pat-down). In the North American culture these extras are not necessary, but if someone does that to you, it’s almost natural to return the favour, to even the score. Go ahead and do unto others as they do unto you.
Dominant people may want you to enter a room first and will gesture to let you go first, and may even lightly touch/pat your back, as a ‘guide’ through the doorway. It looks polite (and it technically is) but it also is another example of them ‘steering’ you somewhere and being in control because they can see you the whole time, and you need to ‘trust’ them when they’re behind you. In evolutionary terms, you never wanted a potential predator or someone you didn’t know/trust to be behind you where you’re vulnerable to blind attack.
Regardless of what is in their mind or their style of greeting, you should always aim for a balanced and equal meet to start the relationship on the right foot. Just don’t be surprised if others have favourite tactics they wish to use on you. Whether it is at a formal business meeting or at a relaxed social outing, learning how to hand shake with balance and confidence, and learning how to match the other person’s style is all good practice! Go ahead – put your best hand forward! 🙂
The importance of interpersonal skills in today’s tech-world cannot be underrated or undervalued, and that’s why I focused my recent TED Talk on them. Please take a moment to view and learn about “The Long Life of First Impressions”
If you like it, please ‘like’ it and share to your social networks, or directly on YouTube. Let’s spread the idea! Much appreciated!
Coaching in general is an exploding industry, and the interest in communication coaching itself has tripled in the last few years. There are organizations that can certify you as a life coach, NLP coach, business coach etc. but currently there are no organizations that can certify you as a communication coach, except the one that started it – 3V Communications. If you think you have the background and interest in being certified as a communication coach by 3V Communications, we do provide that service.
You will need to train under our system, learn our courses and philosophies etc. and be assessed. At the end of training you will be certified and have a ton of material and knowledge that you can use to either work with us or completely independent of us. The choice is yours.
What is a Communication Coach?
There are different definitions according to different coaching organizations, independent coaches and their backgrounds. Some coaches focus on writing, or public speaking, or corporate training, etc. Some attempt to do all. At the end of training you can decide how general or specific you want to be when advertising services. It is always best to specialize on the area or a few areas that you excel in.
We believe in the “hybrid coaching”™ model. It combines current, effective coaching models, self-discovery and core competencies taken from Life and Business coaching, and we also incorporate more traditional coaching and training methodology to provide information and instruction as well. Our overall philosophy is to improve communications on a holistic, complete level, examining the verbal, the vocal and the visual aspects of communication.
3 choices for obtaining certification:
A) 100% at-home self-study course, with some support coaching from a Mentor Coach
B) Study for your certification with the constant support of a Mentor Coach
C) 2-day, in-person training plus 6 follow up coaching hours and 1-year email support with a 3V Mentor Coach to ensure you get up and running successfully
3V Communications Ltd. is an international training company recognized today as one of the leading authorities on Communication Coaching.
3V approved courses have met the strict guidelines for effective coach training, business development, ethics, and professional conduct as per the NCCA – the National Communication Coaching Association of Canada, and as such this 3V Communication Coach certification course is fully accredited by the NCCA.
If interested kindly contact 3V Communications for more information on curriculum cost, benefits of certification and benefits of NCCA designation. We will send you a brochure.
It can be difficult to find the perfect coach for you when you’ve never done it before. There are many types of coaches, with various backgrounds and different areas of specialization. Here are some quick tips to get you started on the right foot:
1 – self-assess your needs first. Be as specific as possible on current challenges, and goals you need to accomplish in order to feel improvement was made. Don’t just rely on a company’s assessment tools. They may not have them, or they may be general. Compare your assessment with theirs!
2 – Google search for a coach or training company using the specific area targeted for improvement, like ‘communication coach’, ‘presentation coach’, ‘executive management coach’, ‘confidence coach’ etc. See what comes up on the first page and then explore their sites/profiles/articles. Go deep, beyond the company/coach website. This is important.
3 – You can choose a company that has a good reputation for providing training but ultimately you will still need to choose an individual coach. When the company recommends a certain coach for your program, ask for a bio document or their LinkedIn profile so you can see what type of person they are recommending for you. Next arrange a free consultation with the coach (20 minute phone/Skype call or a longer in-person meeting) to see if there is a ‘fit’ in both comfort and strategy to solve your challenges.
4 – Ensure you and the coach/coaching company have agreed on the top priorities to focus the coaching on, and then get it in writing. Companies should have some kind of proposal or coaching agreement they can send to you that outlines the coaching focus, program/curriculum specifics, price, location and other policies to be aware of.
5 – Give it a go! A coach is a partner, not a teacher. They will help you achieve your goals if you put in equal effort. If for some reason the coaching is not working out, check your coaching agreement to see if you can modify the program or even switch coaches. After all, if you are not energized and happy, it will be very difficult to face your challenges and move beyond them.
Here is an excerpt:
I shared a radio interview with communications expert, Ric Phillips, of 3V Communications last year and I met with him this week. I always like talking to Ric because his background in social psychology and coaching gives him an interesting perspective.
During our visit, I told him about the intended bitch slap. We discussed what my options could have been, and Ric said that when conflict arises, there are really only four possible choices:
I snapped this picture a few weeks ago while i was visiting my local Scotiabank branch here in Toronto. I’m not sure how widely used this new labelling is – maybe it’s a national or even international initiative – but it’s eye-catching to say the least. For me I immediately responded to it because as you know I’m a big fan of interpersonal skills, and I run a coaching program and a workshop entitled “The Art of Small Talk & Winning First Impressions.” The focus of the training, which has been running since 2007, has always been to help those with technical skills or social shyness to improve their business or social interactions, and leave a lasting positive impression. This is important to build and enhance relationships in our network or social circle.
What I find interesting is that a bank has chosen to change the typical ‘Help Desk‘ label to this new title, since banks provide a large portion of my clientele. 🙂 Yes, I’ve trained many accountants, financial advisors and planners, wealth management managers, auditors, consultants and the list goes on. Not only are soft skills extremely important for client engagement in the banking industry, but also for team cohesion.
I love this new sign as to me it signifies the bank wants to be more approachable and communicative with it’s customers, and also – that it is aware that the first person we speak to is indeed the Director of First Impressions. 🙂
Are you the Director of First Impressions at your place of business? Are you good at it? Or is there a better fit for this role in the office somewhere? These are some questions I’d like you to ask yourself and your team while examining who speaks to customers first and how do they interact with the typical customer.