I was mentioning yesterday my inability to manage the simple task of making a cup of tea without completely fouling things up. Day 2 of the course continued the tea mishap theme in a quite impressive style.
I’ve been attending one of these “soft skills” courses – one which provides education about what to do when talking to customers. In summary, that means lots of standing up and “role-play situations” without much substance to the course. What I hadn’t bargained for when I signed up was the notion that we would be practicing shaking hands.
F***ing practicing shaking hands!
Anyway, the appraisal as to our own handshaking technique was to walk around the room, shaking people’s hands and the other person would give us a score from zero to five. Additional comments were also encouraged.
(A quick aside here: note that I am not making this up – this is actually how the course was planned and there is 10 minutes in the schedule specifically for this exercise.)
Someone approached me and we dutifully did as instructed. My feedback to him was that it was good handshake, but he did seem to “attack” me slightly by swinging his arm in from a great height. To demonstrate the point, I thrust my hand into his. Unfortunately, he was quite a slight bloke and the weight of my arm sort of resonated through his body and over to his left hand.
That would have been OK if his left hand hadn’t contained a cup of tea, but it did and it wasn’t. Most of the tea ended up across his shirt, which I guess wouldn’t have been such a great way to meet a customer for the first time.
Perhaps there was merit in that exercise after all…