Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Terminating an Interminable Handshake; How to Free Your Hand From Someone Who Won’t Let Go (Without Seeming Rude)

Today, while discussing the “Three-Pump Handshake” during my seminar on “Some Simple Verbal and Nonverbal Skills for Creating a Highly Favorable First Impression” at a division of Subsea 7, one of the participants asked the following question: What is one to do if the other person just clings onto you, i.e. will not let go of your right hand even after you’ve ended the “three pumps”? In other words, how do you extricate your hand from the other person’s grasp without coming across as rude?

After some discussion, here was the consensus: Go ahead and free your right hand from the other person’s hold (after the three pumps) but as you are doing so, gently place your left hand on the other person’s right shoulder or arm as a compensating gesture. Needless to say, you should be exhibiting the “all-32 teeth-showing smile” as you are executing all these maneuvers. In fact, a couple of the audience members--one of them a woman--confirmed having tried this before and that it worked out beautifully.

© Copyright 2012 V. J. Singal

How to Successfully Goad Someone into Saying Something When They are Speechless or Just Cannot Find the Words

Here is a surefire way to successfully exhort someone into uttering something if and when the latter just cannot find the words (because of, say, the momentousness of the occasion): “Just say anything…You don’t have to be Shakespeare!”

Got the above idea from a recent episode of the wildly popular Masterpiece series “Downton Abbey.”

© Copyright 2012 V. J. Singal

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Visual, Evocative Words to Emphasize Something: An Inspiring Example From an Interview with Daniel Yergin

A couple of months ago, while discussing the impact of fossil fuels on the environment during a PBS Newshour interview, Daniel Yergin pooh poohed doomsday scenarios, saying “It’s a concern and has to be managed” and “the issue is of finding the relevant new technologies, something we’ve been doing for some 250 years.”

Yergin than elaborated on his optimistic frame of mind by stressing that the alternative/ renewable energy technologies of today (gas turbines, for instance) are far, far more efficient than those of the 1970s and 80s, and that the reason why people don’t readily perceive all this progress is that such advances are not “dramatic.” He emphasized his point by quoting a European Union official who is reported to have said “there is no red ribbon to cut” -- for instance, in the matter of cars having become a lot more efficient in recent years, “you don’t get great photo ops.” Well said, Mr. Yergin.

© Copyright 2012 V. J. Singal