Communication is simply the act of transferring information from one place, person or group to another. Every communication involves at least one sender, a message and a receiver. The sender encodes a message, usually a mix of words and nonverbal essential communication and it is transmitted. On receipt the recipient decodes it. However, communication can also cause avoidable confusion and misunderstanding. Hence the sender needs to understand the audience choosing the best method of communication so that the recipient decodes it correctly.
The Communication Process There are basically four types of Communication:-
NVC is the transmission of messages or signals through a nonverbal platform such as eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, our posture, and the distance between two individuals.NVC can be categorized into eight types: Space, Time, Physical Characteristics, Body Movements, Touch, Paralanguage, Artifacts, and Environment.In this blog we shall confine ourselves with Non Verbal type of Communication (NVC) and specifically the importance of a hand shake. The primary function of nonverbal communication is to convey a meaning by re-enforcing, substituting, or contradicting verbal communication. Nonverbal communication is also used to influence others and regulate conversational flow.Albert Mehrabianas an ArmenianProfessor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is recognised worldwide for his publications on “the relative importance of verbal and nonverbal messages”.Hehas combined the statistical results of a few studies and came up with the now famousrule that communication is only 7 percent verbal and 93 percent non-verbal.The non-verbal component was made up of body language (55 percent) and tone of voice (38 percent).
The Power of Handshake
A handshake falls under the category of “touch” and is considered as the most important form of NVC. It is a kind of interactive body language which gives us an insight as to how the other person views the world, himself/herself and you. It helps in creating the first impression and also sending a parting message. We are aware that the French people kiss, the Chinese people bow as part of their culture. However, in the recent meeting, these two world leaders chose to shake hands instead of following their culture and traditions. This is because a handshake is the most acceptable greetings in the world which transcends all cultures. Since times immemorial we have always reached out with our hands to say that we come with friendship. It is the only socially acceptable manner in which one can touch another person when meeting for the first time. A handshakebegins a business relationship and also seals a deal. The moment we have skin to skin touch with someone, our bodies produce a connecting hormone called “oxytocin” which is essential to build trust. A good handshake with eye contact and a warm smile signals that you are confident and trustworthy – both essential ingredients for building trust and clinching a deal.
Tips to Shake Hands
(a) Be prepared for a handshake by making sure your right hand is always free. Shift anything you are carrying to your left hand—particularly cold drinks which can make your hands feel cold and clammy.
(b) Never shake hands with your left hand in your pocket. Both hands should be visible.
(c) Always stand up for a handshake—man or woman.
(d) Make eye contact and smile warmly. Beware of smiling too much since it will make you appear over-eager. Make eye contact long enough to note the colour of the other person’s eyes.
(e) Keep your head straight and face the other person shoulder-to-shoulder, while maintaining a distance of approximately 18 inches between you and the other person.
(f)Flex knees and move the right foot 2” ahead of the left foot when you extend your right hand.
(g) Extend your hand vertically with the thumb up and fingers out. Avoid palm down (dominant) or palm up (submissive) positions.(h) Don’t begin your handshake until you have connected web-to-web and the palms of your hands are touching.
(j) Shake from the elbow, not the wrist or shoulder, with two smooth pumps.
(k) Squeeze until you feel their muscles tighten, and then stop. Match the other person’s grip.
While shaking hands avoid the Bone Crusher, limp and Glove type of handshakes.
Etiquettes demand that handshakes are important when:-
(a) When introduced to a person and when you say goodbye.
(b) When someone comes to your home or office to visit you or when you meet someone outside your home or office.
( c) When you enter a room, and are introduced to those you do not know and when you leave a gathering attended by friends or business associates.
(d) When you are congratulating a person who has won an award, or has given a speech.
(e) With those nearest you, your host, and with whomever you meet as you move around the room.
(f) After you have signed a contract and at the end of a game.
Historically, men were not expected to shake hands with a woman. But today, everyone is expected to shake hands with everyone in business. And a man should give a woman the same firm handshake he gives a man. In social situations, however, a man should wait for a woman to extend her hand first.In general, the person with the higher status—man or woman—will initiate the handshake. When a woman walks up to a man and reaches out her hand to him, initiating the handshake, she is conveying to him, as well as to the rest of the world that she views her status as at least equal to and possibly even greater than his.
The Importance of Handshake in the Armed Force. One of the cardinal rules of the Armed Forces is that it is the senior’s prerogative to make the first move to shake hands and the junior responds to the gesture. Similarly, it is the prerogative of a lady, irrespective of her age, to offerher hand and the gent thereafter responds to the gesture. When a candidate goes for SSB he comes in touch with three assessors viz the Interviewing Officer, Psychologist and GTO. The Psychologist does not meet the candidate one to one hence there is no opportunity for shaking hands. However the candidate does meet the Interviewing Officer for a one to one interview and the GTO especially during Command Task and they do shake hands with candidates. The candidate must be prepared for such eventualities and should shake hands with a firm grip as a response action while looking into the eye of the assessor with a smile on his face. A firm, friendly and warm handshake of say 3 to 5 seconds is recommended. While shaking hands ensure up and down movement and not sideways. Greeting / salutations must be offered during the process of hand shake and not after the hand shake. Remember an unsure hand wet with sweat could well release negative vibes.
Hope the blog is of help. Good Luck !!!
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