Hands say a lot.
In fact, think about your most recent first date.
(If you’re reading this and you haven’t had a first date in a while, I’ll set you up with my one and only other reader since you two surely share a love of awkward writing and procrastination of much more important tasks).
Now, pretend that on that first date, your partner held their hands straight up in the air the entire time, without explanation or exhaustion.
Would there be a second date?
If we pay so much attention to hands in the dating world, imagine how much hands say in a professional setting.
Here are some clues as to what your hands are really saying in the workplace:
Animated hand movements: Overzealous, uncredible
Hands at your side: Indifferent
Stiff or hidden hands: Untrustworthy
Crossed arms: Smug
Intertwined fingers: Nervous
How do you get your hands to say the right things, then?
Hands slightly raised with open palms: Expert and confident
(Hint: In this study, subjects also thought people who used the open hand gesture were significantly more attractive…
…So, make sure you practice it in the workplace and on your next first date.)
Talley, Linda, and Samuel Temple. “How leaders influence followers through the use of nonverbal communication.” Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 36, no. 1, Feb. 2015, pp. 69–80. Emerald Insight, doi:10.1108/lodj-07-2013-0107.
Artwork by @tatummart.