The Art of Handshaking

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Over two and a half thousand years ago, the handshake began as a gesture of peace. Today,
there’s no gesture quite as powerful as the handshake in creating rapport, showing respect and
demonstrating professional etiquette in Western cultures.

Nor is there a gesture more contentious. Handshaking spreads germs (yes, even more than kissing!)
and everybody seems to have a different opinion on how to do it correctly. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld
once summed up the problem perfectly saying, “There are absolutely no guidelines for handshakes…
too strong, too weak, sometimes they give you the three-quarter handshake – just the fingers. Early
release, late release, too many pumps, coming in too high, too sweaty, from too far away…” Oh, we
know his pain, don’t we?

Matters become even further complicated when you factor in gender. We’ve all been in a situation
where, in a group of men and women, the men automatically shake hands and the women instead
look sheepish, or give half-hearted handshakes. As a woman, your brain whirrs with questions like,
should I initiate a handshake with a man? Does a firm handshake with another woman come off as
aggressive? Oh, god, are my palms sweaty? Did that guy wash his hands?

The answer? Yes, no, maybe and probably not.

To be taken seriously professionally, women must absolutely engage in handshaking. These days,
women are exposed to more networking situations, and a greater emphasis has been made to target
the issues of gender diversity in senior positions, career opportunities and general visibility. So the
handshake works to even the playing field that little bit more by eliminating some disparity between
the genders. Women shouldn’t be afraid to be the first to offer their hand to a man or a woman, as
it instantly opens the communication lines and projects self-assurance and the desire to build instant
rapport with another person. If you are not naturally confident then it is a great way to help you
project that you are and also break the ice. For those who worry about germs, it’s best to just carry
hand sanitiser lotion.

A good handshake isn’t as easy as it sounds. How often have you experienced the “Wet Fish” (a limp,
cold, unemotional and sometimes wet handshake that conveys apathy), the “Cruncher” (an overly
strong grip that can be construed as aggressive) or the “The Palm Pincher” (only a few fingers and
thumb grasp the palm for the shake, sending a negative message).

In a well-executed handshake, hands are gripped firmly, eye contact is made, smiles are exchanged
and the hands make two firm shakes. It is customary to face the other person straight on and stand
about three quarters of a metre apart. If you’re meeting someone for the first time, then of course it’s
important to make a solid introduction of yourself during the handshake.

To project a confident image through your handshake, it’s important to put effort into grooming,
making sure hands are clean and moisturised and nails are manicured.

Being well-versed in the art of communication and following proper etiquette has the power to
give you an invaluable “one percenter” – that special something that sets you apart and catches the
attention of all the right people. Who’d have thought that a simple gesture of peace could be so

A Strong Leadership Brand

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Individuals can be trained and slowly cultured into strong and powerful leaders. But imagine being suddenly thrust into a leadership position without any prior knowledge or training. Well this was how it all began for Sam Walsh, Chief Executive of Rio Tinto Iron Ore.

It was after the unexpected death of his father, that Walsh’s leadership skills came to surface. Despite being only a young teenager, Walsh took it upon himself to start managing all of his family’s affairs. Undoubtedly, this is a feat that only a natural born leader with great strength of will and character would be able to achieve.

With his strong leadership qualities, it is no surprise that Walsh is now in a high-powered management position in one of the world’s leading resource companies. Despite his incredible degree of authority and power, Walsh remains a very open and relatable character.  He has been known to prefer a more open-door and informal style to leadership which encourages team involvement and empowerment.

Walsh’s individual style to leadership and high level of professionalism is well reinforced by his external image. His choice of blues and purples in shirts and ties, communicate a sense of formality and professionalism, but also reflect his approachability and openness. From a colour perspective, these colours are well suited for his image as blue is a colour which represents integrity, communication and trust and purple denotes vision and regality.

Walsh is also often seen wearing a handkerchief in his suit pocket, which communicates his gentlemanly characteristics as well as adding an interesting twist, which sets his style apart from the more simplistic and conventional style of other high level executives. The addition of cufflinks and a pin finishes his elegant look, completing the image of a refined, statesmanlike figure.

Overall, Walsh is truly an inspirational leader whom has successfully distinguished himself by cultivating an image which strongly aligns with his professional status, as well as his own personal characteristics and leadership style.

Sam Walsh

Helping Young People to Achieve their Career Goals

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

If you have a dream, then you should chase after it.  Sounds simple enough, right?

Well take a step into the shoes of a young woman who has low self-confidence and is struggling to step out of her shell.  There is no denying she’s a smart woman, after all she’s excelling academically at university and has the potential to accomplish great things in life.  But having potential can only get you so far if you’re shy and unsure of yourself.  So it’s not surprising that the thought of attending an interview, which even a self-assured person can find nerve-racking, is petrifying.  Not only that, but this lack of confidence can prevent someone from achieving their future goals.

Unfortunately, she’s not alone.  This somewhat daunting and over-whelming feeling is a reality for many young people who are just starting their careers.  Imagine the surprise of entering the big world of corporate and professional organisations after just having graduated university.  Or having the potential and skill, but not being able to portray yourself visually in the way you want to be perceived.

We all have career goals and aspirations at some point in our lives but making them happen is another completely different story.  And that’s why projecting a confident image is such an important and powerful tool.  We also all have positive qualities, but what many people don’t realise is that confidence defines who you are and helps you in pursuing your career.

EGAMI recognises the importance of nurturing talent and working with young people to build their confidence, establish an influential image, help cultivate their leadership ability and develop life skills.  For this reason, we are thrilled to be involved in helping young people achieve their career goals through our image programs and workshops as well as supporting the WA Miss Universe event.

From a holistic perspective, our approach enables young people to develop their own unique brand and create a memorable presence that goes beyond first impressions.  For the WA Miss Universe participants, what’s really important is that this is a life skill they will be able to take with them beyond the competition and greatly assist them in their future endeavours.

“The best colour in the whole world is the one that looks good, on you” – Coco Chanel

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Colour is the foundation of personal styling. When you understand your unique colour palette based on your characteristics and personality, and balance this both intuitively and intellectually, you will know how to create a look and style that is made just for you.

I use colour to communicate my individuality and when I wear the right colours it gives me the image of style and confidence. It plays an important part in my life not only because I am in the field of providing image advice but also because it is how I express my creativity and love of fashion.

Use colour to communicate your individuality by adding it to your life!

Your personal colours

When Dressing to Impress

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Elegance = Style. It is stunning, respected and desirable.


Step Out With Confidence in 2010

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

What is your new year’s resolution this year? ‘Image’  is the forgotten science of success. It’s the first impression you make and the lasting memory you leave. So what image did you portray in 2009?   With 2010 just around the corner, now is the perfect time to re-define how YOU want to be perceived; memorable, authentic, confident, stylish?

Combining style with the principles of influence, EGAMI, invites you to express a more powerful and persuasive professional image this new year.  Keep your eyes peeled on our upcoming style and confidence series of events or see our tailored image packages designed to put you ahead of the game so you feel empowered to Step Out With Confidence In 2010!


Running for CTS and Image in Style

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

The EGAMI Inspiring Image Team gathered to support and run for the City to Surf in Style.   Blessed with wonderful  weather,  it seemed more like a lovely stroll to the beach.  Proudly supporting City to Surf 2009 and running for charity, EGAMI is keen to raise awareness about holistic image … that in order to look good on the outside, you have to also focus on looking after the inside, it all starts with health, diet and exercise which leads to more energy, a healthy body image and self-confidence. EGAMI wants to help you create the impact you want in your life!




Saturday, July 18th, 2009

Personal Image ConsultantFashion Fades, Style is Eternal. We’ll help you discover your signature style. Colour consultation, wardrobe planning advice, grooming, etiquette training and more.