No Fishy Handshakes Please

Last week I was speaking at a big event and had the pleasure of meeting many people. I was, however,  unhappily struck by the number of people who don’t realize the negative impression of their fishy handshake.

What do I mean by a ‘fishy’ handshake? Well, when you offer just the fingers of your hand or when you fail to grasp the other person’s hand and shake it with confidence; you run the risk of having people think you are weak. This especially goes for men shaking hands with women. It is disrespectful to barely shake hands with a woman. It makes them think that you don’t think of them as equals.

You’ve probably heard the story about why we shake hands, i.e.,  to show that we have no weapons in our hands. Aside from the way we dress and eye contact, our handshake is another very important signal of our confidence.

When you shake hands, please, oh please I’m begging you, look the person in the eye and give them a gentle but firm handshake. This isn’t a strength contest but it is a chance to make the other person sit up and take notice of your positive manner.  So ladies,  put your hand out there and shake firmly. Guys, do the same. it’s so important!

Photo Credit: Ads of the World

You’re Awesome, Now Be Awesomer

You’re pretty cool. You’ve worked hard, you’re a nice person. So, are you where you want to be?

Sometimes we get so caught up in day to day living that we forget that we have the power to change ourselves. We have everything justified in our minds about why we can’t change, why things aren’t going our way, blah, blah, blah.

Practice one of these and it will change you…forever:

Promote someone else. When was the last time you helped to promote someone else? Not yourself; someone else. A person who you think is great. Talk about him/her to your connections.  This will require you to know them well enough to help promote them. (No promoting your son, daughter– doesn’t count!)

Be brave. My favorite poet is Mary Oliver. I know you’re thinking, oh no, not poetry. Yuck. Well, I get that. I like poetry and I don’t understand most it. (Maybe that’s because it’s bad poetry!) Anyway, Mary wrote this poem titled The Journey. She talks to us about listening to our inner voice and having the courage to be ourselves. Not easy but the most worthwhile of life’s adventures.

Be here now. During your day, be fully present when you are talking to someone. Look them in the eye, smile, listen as if you were going to have to repeat back to them what they just told you. Practice this with your children, spouse, friends, parents, etc. You’ll be surprised at how much fun it is, how much it is appreciated and the joy of being in the moment.

Change is good, timing is everything, patience is the key. I’m in your corner!

Photo credit: Sharon Greene

 

What Were U Thinking? Hmm… Maybe U Weren’t

Yesterday I was with a new client who told me a story.  As a CEO, he attends meetings of the Executive Council of the local chamber of commerce. This group of high level execs meets once a month to share information. The discussion of the day centered around social media and  how companies were handling dealing with ‘young people’ and their ‘phones.’

The consensus was that the best approach was to “take their phones away while they were at work” and then “train” them to work the “right” way. My client was so upset he nearly left the room. He couldn’t understand how his counterparts could be so shortsighted.

This is so spectacularly counterproductive I’m not even sure where to begin. But to put this in context, I will quote my favorite management guru, Peter Drucker who said in the early 1990’s,, “Show me a company that’s been in business for 50 years and I’ll show you a business on it way OUT of business.” Mr. Drucker saw that technology was revolutionizing business (and the world) and that most previously ‘successful’ managers would not be able to adapt.

If we look at the Fortune 100 in 1980 and then 2010, most of the leading companies have or are fading away in favor of Google, Apple, etc. Companies that didn’t even exist in 1980. It’s the law of the jungle, adapt or die.

I don’t wish anyone ill, I wish them common sense. I wish them an open mind. I wish them good employees who help them succeed long into the next wave of changes. We’re all in this together.

Photo credit: Holy Egg.com

Stop Whining and Find a Job on Twitter

It’s hard for me to believe that every time I talk to a group of job hunters about social media, there are still a lot of people who think Twitter is stupid.They’re certain twitter is dumb and announce it to the whole room.

If they want to think it’s stupid that’s OK by me. But they ought to keep their uninformed opinions to themselves.  If you have an open mind, please read on…

Here is a link to an excellent short (3 minutes) video tutorial for finding a job on twitter.  How To Use Advanced Twitter Search To Find A Job – Video from the good folks at Mashable.com.   It goes through searching twitter for a job by industry, geography and how to keep up with information on your industry.

Even if you’re not looking for a job, the power of twitter is in real time search. You don’t need to follow anyone or have any followers in order to use it to find information that other people, smart people, value. Twitter isn’t stupid if you follow smart people. Please stop whining and start learning.

Photo credit:  Marie Claire magazine