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Encountering the Dominant Handshake

February 27, 2017

The media seems to be catching on to our President’s rather interesting handshake style:


Is this a case of an awkward handshake, or is there something more? Let’s take a look at what’s deemed “The Socket Wrencher:”

The Socket Wrench.  This handshake is very much the same as the water pump; however, the pumps are in and out as opposed to up and down.  Most often the socket wrench handshake is achieved when the shaker pulls the shake into their territory then commences to push them backward.  This move is performed by power players in an attempt to get the shake off balance and in the shakers zone.  You could get injured in this form of handshake.

There’s no doubt of Trump’s awareness to power plays, and he knows exactly what he’s doing here.

Countering the Dominant Handshake

There’s a very simple counter to this style of dominance. First, enter a handshake with a slight bend at the elbow. Reaching your arm to almost a full stretch (shown above) is poor form for your balance as your head and waist are slightly bent forward.

Secondly, use your left arm to simultaneously give a gentle pat around the bicep. Placing your arm at the shoulder is also acceptable, but it gives an obvious ring of a power play. Also, notice the emphasis on placing your hand on the arm, not gripping it. It will look a little like this:


What’s the Takeaway of All This?

We can discuss the importance of body language in general, especially depending on the industry in which you operate, however the point is to hold your own. True power is independent of others, and your refusal to be literally jerked around by an overly domineering individual can provide a clear signal of this.

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