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How to Out-Negotiate and Understand Powerful Handshakes

“When someone shakes your hand, take note of what their other hand is doing. Their other hand heightens the meaning of the handshake.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

“During our introduction, I felt uneasy. There was something in his handshake that made me think that he was attempting to project himself as being powerful. I wasn’t really sure what that handshake meant but I knew he was sending me a message.” Those were words spoken by a team member when recalling how he felt at the outset of a negotiation.

Handshakes convey hidden meanings. They are one aspect of body language that people should pay more attention to. They can make you feel powerful, be perceived as powerful, or make you appear weak.

Continue reading to discover the hidden meanings conveyed simply by shaking someone’s hand.

Meaning of Handshakes:

  • Hand on Top – One hand on top of the other person’s hand

    • Normally, the person whose hand is on top is signaling superiority. But, allowing one’s hand to be on the bottom can be a ploy to allow the other person to believe he’s in a superior position.
  • Hard – One that appears to be overbearing

    • A hard handshake can be a sign of attempted intimidation. It can also stem from someone that is naturally strong and unaware of the strength they convey when shaking someone’s hand.
    • One’s perception is what denotes the degree that a handshake is strong or overbearing. If you’ve had prior encounters with the other party and have shaken their hand, you have a basis for comparison in the present situation. If you don’t have that comparison, consider what a normal handshake would be like from someone of the same size, gender, and background.
  • Weak – Lacking power, dainty, gentle

    • Weak handshakes convey the exact opposite meaning of those that are hard. Again, don’t necessarily infer that someone is weak because they deliver a weak handshake. It may be the way they wish you to perceive them at the outset of your meeting.
  • Hand/Arm Jerk – While shaking the hand, a quick movement is made that pulls the hand quickly in a jerking motion in one direction and then pushes it backward in the opposite direction.

    • Sometimes, in a playful setting, friends will engage in such banter. In negotiation settings, this gesture is most likely a subtle signal that the one exhibiting it plans to keep the other negotiator off guard. Take note when receiving such gestures and compare it to what follows.
  • Firm – Not too hard, not too soft, both hands parallel to each other

    • In a negotiation, negotiators state through this gesture that they’re equal and respectful of each other.

The person holding the handshake the longest is the one controlling it – they’re stating that they’re not ready to let go. A normal handshake usually lasts for 3 to 5 upward and downward movements. Any more is excessive, which means it’s being done for a reason.

Here’s the rub. Just because someone extends a weak handshake doesn’t make them weak, nor does a strong handshake make them strong.  It can all be a ploy. That means you can use this ploy as a tactic in your negotiations.

By understanding the meaning of handshakes, you understand more of what’s occurring. Thus, when someone shakes your hand, you can respond based on how you wish them to perceive you. That will alter the setting of any negotiation. That will also empower you … and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

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/

#Handshake #Power #Powerful #Emotion #Business #Progress #SmallBusiness #Negotiation #NegotiatingWithABully #Power #Perception #emotionalcontrol #relationships #HowToNegotiateBetter #CSuite #TheMasterNegotiator #ControlEmotions

Entrepreneurship Human Resources Management Negotiations Skills Women In Business

Do You Know the Hidden Source of Your Happiness?

“To unveil your sources of happiness, you must know where it lives.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

He spoke with his website designer. After the call, he felt a heightened sense of happiness. As he reveled in his bliss, he assessed his state of pleasure and reflected on why it was in abundance. He realized that those feelings stemmed from that conversation. He thought, “My website will be updated, which means my services and skills will be presented better. That will bring in more business and create more opportunities for me.”

Do you note when you’re happy? Are you aware of the hidden sources of your happiness? Sometimes, we’re happy and we’re not aware of it. It’s usually because we’re not attentive to what put us into an elated state. Are you aware of what causes that lack of recognition?

Continue reading and you’ll discover why it’s important to pay attention to your level of happiness and the benefits gained from doing so.

Know Yourself:

Do you really know what it takes to make you happy? Or, do you leave it to chance? If you relinquish such an important force to chance, without recognizing it, you’re neglecting your wellbeing.

The more attuned you are to your emotions, your dreams, and driving sources of motivation, the easier it’ll be to identify those variables. That means, regardless of your state of mind, you’ll be able to alter it. But to do that, you must be aware of how and when to exercise that control.

The more aware you are of the environments that challenge your happiness, the more opportunities you’ll have to avoid negativity. First, you must know yourself, know what you want, and focus on constantly moving in the direction of your needs and desires.


When you sense you’ve made accomplishments, you feel the momentum of progress. And that makes you experience happiness. Conversely, when you’re not making progress, you may feel like you’re in a rut. That diminishes your happiness.

If you’re more aware of your environments and the people in them, you can make better assessments about the probability of outcomes. That’s another reason you should surround yourself with like-minded people. They can serve to help you strive for higher achievements. Their actions can have a profound impact on you and your degree of happiness.

What does this have to do with negotiations?

When negotiating, your emotions sway from one end of the spectrum to the other. At times, they’re like a wild and uncontrollable ride. At other times, they’re akin to a pleasurable stroll on the beach. In either case, your emotions will dictate your actions. Thus, the more aware you are about what causes you happiness, the better you can control your emotions. With that, you’ll be in greater control of your actions when negotiating.

Happiness is truly a state of mind. If you’re more aware of the actions that lead to greater happiness, you’ll be able to induce that state more readily. You’ll also be able to use that skill in times when you might otherwise feel besieged by others, which could lead to unwanted outcomes.

When you learn to control the occurrences that lead to greater happiness, you will have created space where more happiness can reside. That will make you the controller of your happiness quotient … and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

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/

#Happiness #Source #Emotion #Business #Progress #SmallBusiness #Negotiation #NegotiatingWithABully #Power #Perception #emotionalcontrol #relationships #HowToNegotiateBetter #CSuite #TheMasterNegotiator #ControlEmotions

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