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!
|Is it a good thing to centre your hands while speaking?|
Hello fellow communicators!
Do you often wonder how you could improve the results of your meetings and presentations in the boardroom? Do you wish you could read the body language and non-verbal communications of business people across the table from you during negotiations? Well a global company called FIRMEX believes these are valuable skills to learn and partnered up with “yours truly” to create a couple of no-cost body language videos. Please watch and enjoy these vital and easy-to-apply tips to modify your non-verbal communication and gestures, as well as become more attuned to others in business. Body language isn’t everything, but it’s a very large part of effective business communication! Click the link below to see the video on Firmex’s blog:
I hope you enjoy the tips and more importantly put them to good use immediately!
Please enjoy this ‘clip’, and then ask yourself if you were going into a big meeting, interview, giving a talk or PowerPoint, what would your body language convey? Do you think about it beforehand or just ‘go with the flow?’ I think you know that my advice would be to actually ‘plan’ your vibe that you are sending, just like Musashi did, many years ago. Here it is, found on page 27:
“I always stress form and balance. If you are lax in your stances and positioning, then you will be unable to perform your technique effectively. Focus your concentration on only one thing – making the “hit.” Narrow your eyes slightly and ever so subtly flare your nostrils. Always fight with your spine erect and unbent. Keep your shoulders relaxed and lowered. Tighten your abdominal muscles and root yourself into the ground. Make yourself bigger in your mind than you are as a manner of intimidating the enemy. Slowly work your way toward the enemy until you are ready to strike. Then do so with utmost conviction, quickness, and power. Keep your weapons ready at all times. You should practice the proper stances and movements prior to using any fighting technique and in this manner establish your own sense of being through your particular art. How often have you witnessed so-called experts with no form or balance?”
Learn about Ric Phillips and 3V Communications coaching, including body language. Options for communication coaching/training include interpersonal/professional communication skills, public speaking, presentations, body language, business ESL, etc. We help you communicate clearly and confidently. Please enjoy this short video that highlights key aspects of our communication coaching and training. Thank you!
As most of you know, I am a big fan of studying body language. It is a huge part of interpreting other people, as well as presenting the right ‘vibe’ to others. I love teaching what I know to my clients, and seeing it in action everyday. In fact, my company is named ‘3V Communications‘ because we interpret and relay information using the 3 Vs of communication – Verbal, Vocal & Visual. But what are the ratios?
Perhaps surprisingly to you, according to an old and very specific study, they are 7% verbal, 38% vocal and 55% visual. That means 93% of all communication is non-verbal, if those numbers are true. But even if the numbers are just ballpark figures, what does that realistically mean? It means I can swear at you, but as long as I am smiling and my body language is relaxed and open, and my voice is not too loud, you will NOT get mad at me! You will know that I am just joking or messing around with you. That is just a small example of how important it is to understand and properly use body language.
Did you know that the singer Shakira was correct when she sang a song called “My Hips Don’t Lie?” I realize that she meant it more in terms of sexy dance moves, but in reality, where we point our feet and hips does say a lot of who and what we are interested in. If you and I are sitting in a meeting or a café, and my feet are continuously pointing towards the door, what does that say to you? It says I am ready or waiting to leave.
If I am talking to someone on a 45 degree angle, that means I am inviting others into the conversation. Therefore if I am square to the person, I want their full attention and would not appreciate being interrupted. You can see this kind of ‘footwork’ at networking events or social mixers.
I could go on and on, since I have put a large number of hours into this fascinating field of study, but for now I just want to let you know that you can study body language with me either in individual coaching sessions or in a team workshop environment, and you can choose to focus on a course just on body language or have it included into other communication training programs. Give me a call or email and I will send you some more information. 🙂
I wanted to share with you this excerpt from Dan Schabel’s blog, whom I don’t know, as he interviewed an author, speaker and coach that I do follow, Larina Case, PsyD, MBA. This topic focuses on the importance of communication and confidence (my 2 favourite subjects) and leadership skills. For the full blog article, please visit here:
Is everyone capable of being a great leader? Why or why not?
Everyone is capable of being a great leader in some aspect of their life, either leading themselves or others. If you’re going to lead others, you must first be a great leader of yourself—it’s a prerequisite.
In terms of leading others, I think that about one quarter of leadership ability is natural and the rest is learned.
Inherent or inborn characteristics of great leadership include qualities like thought process (great leaders are often “big picture” people rather than data-driven types, which helps them to create and communicate a powerful vision), and the personality traits openness and conscientiousness. Contrary to popular belief, research has not shown the personality trait of extroversion to correlate with great leaders (not all great leaders are extroverts).
Qualities that can be learned if someone has the interest and desire include the emotional intelligence factors that are so important to leadership—things like self awareness, empathy, confidence, communication, influence, and being a catalyst for change.
What are some common characteristics of great leaders?
Great leaders positively influence others. Two of the most important features of influence are empathy and communication. Empathy is the ability to understand the thoughts and feelings of others. Without empathy, people feel that you don’t get them and resist your influence. With empathy, people feel heard and understood and in alignment with you.
When people are empathic, they naturally communicate well. This is because empathic people mirror the body language and emotions of others, which creates a synchronicity.
Communication skills are made up of nonverbal (body language, tone of voice, etc.) and verbal (what you say) behaviors. Your nonverbal are most important, and through training everyone can improve their nonverbal communication.
Once again, to continue reading this blog, just go here: