Isn’t the Handshake the Most Important Part of a Business Relationship?

Business Relationships

I was reading through one of my favourite business magazines last week when I happened upon an ad from GoToMeeting.  The headline read, “The Only Thing Missing is a Handshake”.  Now, I get the point that they are making as they promote video conferencing as an “extraordinarily powerful way to collaborate face to face in high-definition video”.  I get it.  I am a brand builder. I embrace new technology with zest as it helps to facilitate the relationships that underpin brand. In fact, I am a big fan of GoToMeeting as it enables me to have more frequent collaboration with people spread far afield.

But, the headline also nagged at me about what has been lost in business today, the handshake.  It used to mean something.  It was the signal of agreement of between people — seller and buyer.  And I believe that its importance is belong lost on the new generation of business leaders.  Business is about people, not pixels.  It’s about developing products and services that delight the people who consume them.  As a brand builder, I have always stressed human interaction within my companies.  I believe in regular internal meetings and maximum allowable intervals between face-to-face meetings with our clients.

I am also a big believer in Tony Hsieh of Zappos’ zeal for the notion of serendipity; the idea of the “happy accident” that comes about as a result of human interaction.

So, by all means, embrace technology, but remember, the simplest and most extraordinarily powerful tool in business is the shake of a hand.

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