Handshakes Must Never Go Extinct

You can tell a lot about a person by the quality of their handshake. Are they all in trying to show their dominance with a power squeeze? Is the person barely paying attention to you and putting out the dreaded “dead fish” hand? There are many other scenarios, but I think these two illustrate the point. From one brief touch you can get a read on a person’s intent and interest in interacting with you…or not.

According to my Google-Fu, handshake history varies in why it started. One history from @HistoryExtra states that handshakes were used in lieu of bowing to show two beings met as equals. Another iteration from @history Channel mentions the intent to show the dominant right hand does not contain a weapon, therefore each party greets the other with peaceful intentions. While a bit less applicable today, this latter definition is the one I’m most familiar with.

In July 2020 COVID-19 seems to have all but killed the notion of greeting others with a firm, but not overbearing handshake and direct look in the eye combined with a verbal greeting. This is how I was taught, how I taught my three sons and how I hope we as humanity continue to greet each other as both legitimate and some less legitimate COVID-19 fears begin to die down.

Humans are not meant to isolate for extended periods of time and certainly not without human touch. The handshake to me is the ultimate way to show others that we’re willing to open a bit of ourselves a bit, express some confidence and begin the conversation. These conversations could be about the burgers on the grill with friends, in a boardroom between vendors and clients or between two seemingly opposing forces on opposite sides of a national conversation, like race and equality.

The handshake is the first step. We must all work back to this to show we don’t have weapons in our hands or hearts towards one another and that we are all in fact equals in humanity’s story of life as we know it.

Stay safe, wash your hands and Godspeed,


Kevin Pannell, PMP | Creator & Host, ‘People, Process, Progress’ | Connect and subscribe at https://linktr.ee/peopleprocessprogress

#handshake #covid19 #equality #humanity #people #process #progress #peopleprocessprogress

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