Body language: interpret handshake



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We are moved by the idea to make the world of work more human - without constant pressure for efficiency, stress and fear. As Publisher Best of HR - Berufebilder.de® with podcast, eLearning-on-demand offers and news service we share 15 years of experience with our customers (Samsung, Otto, state institutions). By the Top20 female blogger and consultant Simone Janson, referenced in ARD, ZEIT, Wikipedia .
Reprint: This text is from the book "Die Macht der versteckten Signale: Wortwahl - Körpersprache - Emotionen. Nonverbale Widerstände erkennen und überwinden (2014)""" from Dr. Gabriele Cerwinka, Gabriele Schranz, published at Linde Verlag, and was left to us for reprint.
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The Opening address with a handshake is common in our latitudes. Their origin is clear: when we shake hands with the other one, we also show him that we do not hold a weapon, that we come with peaceful intentions.

Body language: Handshake suggest handshake

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Here writes for you: Gabriele Schranz is a shareholder of Schranz and Cerwinka OEG; Vienna - Zurich. Profile
Here writes for you: Dr. Gabriele Cerwinka is a shareholder of Schranz and Cerwinka OEG. Profile

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Complex welcome greetings

Overview

But since we no longer think in the simple patterns of our Stone Age ancestors - "weapon = enemy, no weapon = friend - our welcome ritual has become much more complex. We have already dealt with the role of the eyes.

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  • But how do our hands behave?
  • How do we hide the evil intentions?
  • What makes us think that we have the one or the other arrow in the quiver?

Bonecrusher Handshake

Overview

First there is the "bone crusher" handshake. The most beautiful smile, the friendliest words are drowned out by the painful sound when someone almost crushes our hands.

The person proves not only strength, but also lack of sensitivity: Such a handshake is perceived as an attack, as an injury - and indeed it is when we still feel the pressure minutes later and are barely able to hold our glass.

This power strangling often stifles a conversation already in the bud. You try to get rid of the "muscle man" as fast as possible.

The cold fish

Overview

The opposite of the "bonecrusher" is the "cold fish": the hand of the other lingers for seconds without any emotion and signs of life in ours. We conclude that there is complete disinterest in the other.

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We are not worthy of a feeling, he does not want to feel us, do not get in touch with us. When this handshake occurs in conjunction with the previously described convulsive smile, the hurdle to an open conversation is almost insurmountable.

The hand in the bag

Overview

If a man holds his left hand in his handbag when he is shaking his hand, it is not for nothing as rude - the person so welcomed feels insecure. Is this only a gesture of rudeness, or is the other hiding a weapon in the courtbag?

Or does he just want to signal to me that he is simply looking for a casual, comradely conversation? Then the hand in the pocket means relaxed nonchalance: "I certainly do not attack you, my hand is not even ready to defend myself against you."

The slider

Overview

Another option, already at the Opening address To set out the fronts clearly and to contradict the actual meaning of the welcome ritual, is the "Wegschieber". You approach the other man with your arms open, but instead of bending your hand slightly at the same time as shaking hands, thus letting the other hand in you, you keep your hand extended, pushing the other away from you.

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In order to intensify this "pushing away", the left hand is often placed on the shoulder of the other. What should be friendly-jovial, however, is actually the assurance that the other does not come too close to any part of the body. Both hands push him away.

friend or foe

Overview

This greeting must have originated among hostile politicians who had to demonstrate friendship for the sake of the media. Who does not know the second typical "politician greeting" from the Cold War days, when they embraced each other intimately and made the viewer feel that they both just wanted to avoid looking each other in the eye - the Opponents should not immediately see the evil intentions in the other's eyes.

In addition, this allegedly friendly body contact allows the inconspicuous palpation of the other for hidden weapons - the embrace as disarmament.

Dominance handshake

Overview

The situation is similar with the "dominance handshake". In handshaking, the more dominant interlocutor turns the other's hand so that his own hand lies on top of the other from top to bottom. He brings the hand of the "opponent" into humility.

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If the other person is not beaten, he might lay his second hand on the other's hand. What seems particularly heartfelt, is nothing but a power game - will the other now on his part again put his second hand on top?

From the Stone Age to the Cold War

Overview

You think that these forms of salutation had only existed in the Cold War? Far from it - a cold war still prevails - especially in professional life. It is likely that all these contradictory greetings have come about because we have to welcome countless people every day, especially in the professional world, whether we find them sympathetic or not.

We have to show kindness, we want something from them or at least want to leave a good impression. After all, you never know whether a potential customer is not in front of you ... The Stone Age man has just welcomed those with a handshake, which he really wanted to welcome!

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