Statistics show that only about 7% of the emotional meaning in a message is composed of the actual words we use. About 38% in communication is through the tone of our voice and 55 % comes through non verbal communication, which includes facial expressions, gestures and posture. Handshakes and a proper eye contact are part of that 55%
Non verbal language is a vital part of the communication process. Body language that is consistent and congruent with the verbal message you are communicating builds trust and rapport.
Most of the time, the handshake is the only physical contact allowed in a business relationship. We often allow impressions based on the handshake to determine the future of a business relationship. Handshakes begin when we make eye contact, once eye contact is made the hand is extended.
If you wait for someone else to initiate the handshake, you risk being perceived as timid or unsure of yourself. Exception: when you are visiting someone else’s office or environment. If they don’t offer one, hold out your hand.
Next, meet the person’s grip web to web and palm to palm and match pressure.. If you receive a firm handshake, match the pressure, same with a light handshake. Shake hands firmly, with only one squeeze. Count 1,2,3, then drop.
Don’t sandwich the other’s person hand between both of yours, it suggest you are trying to overpower. Don’t bone crush, glad hand, or wimp out with a two-knuckle finger wiggle, the kind of handshake that only includes half of the hand. Treat men and women with equal respect. It is as appropriate for a man to offer his hand to a woman as it is for as to offer first.
The eyes are the window of the soul. Eye contact is one of the most powerful ways to establish trust. Effective use of eye contact helps us exhibit confidence s a speaker and respect as a listener. Eye contact should be held while people are speaking to demonstrate respect and interest. Some Asian cultures believe the opposite, the eye contact is a show of disrespect.
If you lose eye contact or focus on everything else but the person you are speaking to, you may not be taken seriously and the truth in your points may be lost.
Failing to maintain eye contact during a conversation can send mixed signals to the person you are speaking with. It is often construed as a tell-tale-sign that you might not be forthcoming or truthful in what you are saying—liars tend to not keep eye contact. If the lack of eye contact is not construed as a lie the person may be trying to conceal, it is often perceived as lack of interest or an indication of a short attention span.