Shaking hands - for those of us with a few or more years in the business world and in "traditional" social encounters, it seems pretty much second nature, doesn't it?!
Many younger text-punching people struggle with and even
intimidated by s
haking hands. Employing
social skills in the work place and elsewhere seems to be a dying art just when it's needed most. Here, Kate King takes up this topic.
Growing up, a long time ago, I remember my father coaching me on how to shake hands. He showed me how to do it in a way that cemented a connection between my hand-shaking partner and me. Other
skills like speaking directly, smiling, making eye contact, etc. were also on his agenda.
Apparently, many parents and schools aren't imparting this to their kids these days.
There are a few private high schools and colleges who offer to help students understand and practice the dynamics of personal face-to-face interaction.
Some may require attendance in these programs.
It's that important! How does it leave you feeling if someone offers a limp hand to shake? Or doesn't make eye contact during the shake?
In this article, Kate describes what companies
like Subaru and Bank of America are doing about this. T
oday's world requires a whole different skill set from that of a few years ago. Many traditional chores are handled by automation.
More and more, people are there to interact with...people, and do it in a caring, customer-friendly way. According to David Deming, whom Kate quotes, the portion of the workforce in such jobs has increased by 12 percentage points in a bit over 30 years.
The rate of that change is almost certainly increasing.
Filing, entering data, depositing checks, etc. no longer need
human intervention, once the systems are in place.
Even telephone etiquette suffers as electronic communication becomes more prevalent. Skills such as listening intently, smiling on the phone, and other such niceties need to be practiced and honed.
Electronic text-based communication has its place. We just need to understand that such exchanges are data transfers, not conversations.
In my view, and apparently in Kate's, conversations ought to be part of human interaction.
For other thoughts on electronic media's impact on communication, you may want to check
How are you, and/or your progeny, equipped to do customer-sensitive work? Care to talk about it, or something else? Let's do it.
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