I recently returned from teaching a Master Educator class, where I was speaking with a group of educators. The topic we discussed were the struggles students have greeting and welcoming clients. The fact that many students are uncomfortable with a simple handshake.
For many students, the thought of approaching a new client can be scary and overwhelming. The last thing on their mind is shaking the client’s hand and what message it is sending. We know that a handshake can tell a client a great deal of information. For example, it can communicate one’s confidence, level of insecurity, and/or shyness or lack of social skills. Which in turn reflects a person’s level of credibility.
Let’s face it, we have all experienced “The Dead Fish” – this shake feels like the person has no bones in their hands; “The Brush Off” – the quick grasp and then an instant release that feels like your hand is being shoved aside. How about my favorite or should I say my least favorite “The Bone Crusher” – the grip is so tight and they continue to squeeze until you begin to cringe from pain.
Teaching students how to properly execute a powerful handshake can easily be integrated into your curriculum. Create fun classroom activities around role-playing the various types of shakes. I found this fun YouTube video on The Top 10 Bad Business Handshakes. Using a fun visual such as a video introduces the various types of handshakes and what message they communicate to students.
Shaking hands is another skill set that we need to teach students. Just like any other skill, it takes practice and refinement. Allowing students to practice and master their personal handshake while in the classroom will give students the confidence they need to effectively greet and welcome their clients in the student salon.
Patti Wanamaker brings 21 years of experience to the Milady team, where she currently serves as an Academic Training Specialist. Her intimate understanding of the salon, school, and beauty industry comes from 18 years of hands-on experience as a multi-faceted training specialist, including 8 years of salon and spa ownership of 3 salons with annual sales of $5 million. Her experience in all 3 areas of our industry allows her to think outside the box and develop innovative trainings that not only inspire, but empower educators/trainers to create the most effective learning environments for their students.