Manage episode 294158227 series 2530089
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Mahatma Gandhi once said, “You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.” Remember handshakes? Before all my classes moved to being online, I taught my Japanese students the importance of handshakes. From my experience, people who aren’t used to giving handshakes run the risk of giving ones that are uncomfortable and awkward. “Like a cold, dead fish” has been the harshest comment I’ve heard about someone’s handshake. Making skin-to-skin contact with someone you’ve only just met might seem a bit strange. However, this small act of physically connecting with someone can make or break a first impression. Does the other person feel supported by your handshake? Or do they feel dominated by it? I’ve asked my Japanese students to think about when someone bows to them. How do they feel if it’s a deep bow? A mere nod of the head? A firm handshake is also a sign of trust. The expression “Let’s shake on it” can be as binding as a hanko personal seal. While practising handshakes, some of my students took this too far and thought the goal was to crush the other person’s hand. I told them that all they need to do is match the strength of their partner’s squeeze. (Samantha Loong) To be continued… This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.