Change is Good

Hand Waver or Hand Shaker

Jon Wetzel
Contributor: Jon Wetzel
Posted: 08/06/2012

When you shake hands with someone there’s a physical acknowledgement between both persons that they actually met each other.  A hand wave can be a random one way communication between one person or several.  Perhaps even no one if the person for whom the wave is intended isn’t looking.  How do you communicate?

Didn’t you get my email?


Working remotely, I use email as a mode of communication as much as I do phone calls, text and chat.  To me they are all the same.  However, what I don’t do is send just one email and expect that the other person received it.  To do so is the equivalent of just waving my hand.

I always try to follow up with a hand shake, which can be an additional text, phone, chat or email.  The difference is that I MUST get a response.  I must get something that indicates that the other person has connected has acknowledged me or waved back.

Just because it’s written doesn’t mean it registered in my brain


I think we’ve all just clicked the 22 page pop-up acknowledging that we “accept” Microsoft’s or Apple’s terms of use.  It’s long, confusing and if we actually read it we would probably be scared to accept and use the program.  Similar to the MSDS for NaCl (sea salt)

Potential Acute Health Effects: Slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of eye contact (irritant), of ingestion, of inhalation

Potential Chronic Health Effects:

CARCINOGENIC EFFECTS: Not available. MUTAGENIC EFFECTS: Mutagenic for mammalian somatic cells. Mutagenic for bacteria and/or yeast. TERATOGENIC EFFECTS: Not available. DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY: Not available. Repeated or prolonged exposure is not known to aggravate medical condition.

When sending long documents I try to give a synopsis of what I think are the key points.  I try to give it some added hand shake by letting the email receiver know some items I believe are of interest and ask some specific questions of him/her.

What I want is a solid hand shake response from them that let’s me know they understand everything.  To accomplish this I need to set the stage accordingly.

If I just send the document and ask for them to review and respond and I get a “sounds good” it’s the same as a hand wave.  How do I know they really read it?

It’s really about communication


Shaking hands has an exchange of words and involves an intimacy between two people.  This helps solidify communication and a bond is forged.  This is how to communicate effectively.

Remember: when you just wave your hand, one person may feel that a connection is made while to the other it probably doesn’t exist. 

The Queen waved to 80,000 attendees and 700 million viewers at the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics.  I doubt we all saw her wave and I’m certain she didn’t see me wave back.

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Jon Wetzel
Contributor: Jon Wetzel
Posted: 08/06/2012

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