How not to leak

Giving a good greeting isn't the hardest thing to do in terms of choreography, but emotionally it's more challenging than you think. It's unnatural for animals to go padding off to perform affectionate or passive rituals with other strange animals If they did they'd be dog meat So your leakage—that is, body language that gives away what you're really thinking—is likely to involve signals of fear, which in turn will emerge as embarrassment . Your denial signs are likely to include: I Looking away as you kiss, hug, or greet . This is called distracted kissing and it looks terrible Always give the person you're greeting your undivided attention, even if it's only for a short span of time Looking around signals you've got other, more important people in your sights I Hesitation. This is the kiss of death to your charisma rating . Put simply, charismatics don't do hesitation . Once you hesitate during a greeting, you're dead in the water You'll put your hand up then drop it and they'll do the same and then you'll both be waving out-of-sync, floppy arms at one another for the next century or so . Or you'll go for that third air-kiss and they'll back away or you'll clunk noses . Go for your greeting with confidence and be definite about how it's going to look I Giggling . This can be prompted by nerves but it creates paranoia, so try to suppress it if possible I Leaping away after your greeting. Jumping like a scalded cat or even doing a little hand wipe after shaking will also signal rejection . And hold that eye contact for a second after you greet to make it look as though you're genuinely interested in the other person I Bringing your hands up as a semi-barrier. This is like a knee-jerk defense signal after the openness of your greeting Avoid any barrier gestures after you've finished your ritual It's easy to fold arms, crotch cover, raise a glass higher up your torso, or clutch at your bag after doing a greeting I Careering. This has nothing to do with job enhancement; I mean careering as in rushing off clumsily after you greet someone It's a classic mistake, but it causes disaster . You do your greetings, your brain goes into embarrassment overdrive, you go to walk your visitor to the elevator and you forget to take note of your surroundings, crashing into another employee or the reception coffee table or a chair . From there it's downhill all the way . Move off with dignity, don't rush, leap, or do a mid-air leap

Meetings and greetings need to be polished performances if you're going to avoid the clunky, clumsy stuff that usually occurs during introductions It's good that there is very little in the way of set etiquette rules, but this can also lead to body language disasters . I often wonder why we pay so little thought to simple rituals like the handshake when it's so high impact in terms of instant perceptions Working on your signals will give you an instant and easy advantage, both in business and at social events

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