The Yank-Shake & Your Client Power/Solidarity Imbalance

Donald Trump. The gift that keeps on giving? Certainly as far as a rabid media is concerned.

I couldn’t quite believe the amount of pixels invading my screens about his method of handshake.

Now known, it seems, as his yankshake.

Rather than refer to place of origin, ‘yank’ tells you how he physically pulls those he greets towards him.

One such commentor (it must be said from an opposed political stance) derides him for using the ceremony to assert his dominance. 

Whoever is top dog also gets the (final) ‘pat’ in. 

So far, so alpha.

What really struck me about the endless analysis, is what the humble handshake reveals about the true intentions of each protagonist.

The only insight I’ve ever had into it, was that anyone who approaches you with their palm facing horizontal and down is to be avoided. They are likely to be out to smother you. Likewise, don’t trust the tight squeezer. Ouch. Better (so I once heard) to offer an open palm, one angled slightly upwards, as a more considerate, caring, collaborative gesture. In a firm yet polite manner.

Here’s the fascinating ”natural, underlying” motivation;

Physical greetings are motivated by two principles: the need to express power relations or the need to express solidarity.

How do you spot which applies to you?


Both parties act the same, then you are indeed ‘equals’. A shared Solidarity.

Actions differ, and one person is making a Power play. Fear asymmetrical times ahead.

This holds clear logic for our selling relationships.

Pop-psychologists would no doubt think back on every such greeting and put each buyer personality in their camp.

This can go deeper though.

There are many more ‘actions of respect’.

Helpful introductions to colleagues. Written replies that go beyond the terse modern-day-message “Eeyore”. Visible preparation for meetings and calls.

Is it possible to go as far as to say: treasure solidarity, qualify out from power?

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