Greg Williams

By Greg Williams

Negotiator: How to Detect Hidden Danger in a Handshake

Negotiator: How to Detect Hidden Danger in a Handshake 150 150 Greg Williams, MN, CSP

“Danger lurks in many forms. Don’t let the concealed danger of a handshake endanger you.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert 

“I didn’t come here to learn about handshakes. I came because I wanted to become a better #negotiator.” Those were the unfortunate comments of a seminar attendee. He didn’t realize that he’d overlooked a huge gambit in the negotiation process.

A #handshake conveys important information. The more people exchange them between one another, the more information they convey. It can say, I’m feeling overly optimistic today. It can say, my mood is somewhat deflated. It can also say that I’m going to dominate you because I feel superior today.

Very few people understand the value transmitted when they clasp someone’s hand. Are you aware of such messages when you shake someone’s hand?

After gaining insights from the following information, you’ll never look at, sense, or interpret a handshake as you’ve done in the past.

Wimpy:

Some people equate a weak or wimpy handshake with someone of the same character. Be careful of the assumptions you make.

A weak or wimpy handshake may send a silent message of subservience. It can also be the disguise of someone that’s significantly stronger in character than the handshake conveys. It’s one tactic that good negotiators use to dupe the other negotiator into perceiving a false sense of weakness. That’s done to acquire insight into what the other negotiator might do once she sensed that she was dealing with a mentally weaker opponent.

If you wonder about the validity of such a person, shake hands several times during your interactions. Note the slightest degree of change in the firmness of their handshake. To the degree change occurs, it’ll serve as a barometer indicating a change in character.

Bone-Crushing:

The delivery of a bone-crushing handshake can be an attempt to display strength and dominance. It can be someone’s lack of recognition of their strength related to the hand they’re shaking. It could also be an attempt to conceal weakness.

I recall a business associate telling me that I shook his hand too hard. I knew I possessed a firm handshake but I’d not considered it to be bone-crushing. My associate reiterated his statement a few times. After that, I was always more attentive to not shaking his hand with the prior degree of intensity that I’d used before.

The point is, if you do have a firm handshake, know when to moderate it based on the circumstances. If someone delivers a bone-crushing handshake upon you, and it’s painful, consider saying something. Then, note if any change occurs. If it does, the person is displaying more alignment with you. If it doesn’t, the person doesn’t care how you feel. In either case, you will have gained valuable insight into the person.

Releasing:

The person controlling a handshake is the one that releases it last. A handshake on average last about five seconds. Thus, the person holding the hand of the other individual the longest is stating that they’re not ready to release that person.

Take note when someone extends a handshake pass what’s normal for the situation. They may be sending a subliminal message that they’re superior. They might also be holding your hand longer to comfort you or themselves. Therefore, note when such occurs and the situation in which it happens. Doing so will allow you to gain additional insight as to why they’re committing that act.

Conclusion:

In every negotiation, note its beginning through the information sent via a handshake. If you become attuned to its intent, you’ll have greater insight into that person. That insight will add additional information about how you can negotiate better with them … and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

 Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://anchor.fm/themasternegotiator

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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