Saturday, August 13, 2011

Negotiation Secret # 187: How NOT to Shake Hands

While Mitt Romney enjoys national front-runner status (or nearly so depending on the pole) in the race for the Republican nomination for the 2012 U.S. Presidency, here at the recent Iowa State Fair he defaults to a old-style political mistake. His primary error (but not the only one shown in this image), is his gripping of the left upper arm/shoulder of this potential voter. This is virtually always negatively received. It is an example of an excessive display of dominance and alpha behavior. In some settings it implies friendship-intimacy where none exists. Both are emotionally-inappropriate here and not in Mitt's best interest. Similar maneuvers are gripping the left elbow or the double-handed (sandwiched) handshake. While he certainly wants to seem "presidential", this is not the way to accomplish it. When attempting to build rapport, the "little things" add up quickly. While others may not be able to list the reasons they feel uncomfortable vs. comfortable, their subconscious will quickly integrate what is seen and felt - and will leave them with an accurate gist. What emotions are you projecting?