Question: What is one physical gesture (hand gestures, etc.) that turns you off when meeting other businesspeople and why?
No Eye Contact
"When people look away from you during a conversation, it seems that they are trying to say many things to you. First subconscious things include: being uninterested in what you have to say, being unauthentic, or being distracted. Making eye contact can create that connection and strong first impression of sincerity."
Touching Their Face
"I get super turned off when people hold their hand to their face for an extended period of time. Is your head in your hands because I'm boring you? Are you covering your mouth because you're about to snee-- oh, wait, a minute later your hand is still there? Why exactly? Are you hiding something? Your subconscious hand-face activity is making me question why we are working together!"
Ignoring Junior Team Members in Meetings
"It's always a red flag for me when I'm in a meeting with someone who ignores people around the table who he/she views as junior or subordinate. A good idea can come from anywhere, regardless of position or tenure. When I see someone treat others with disrespect, whether it's very subtle or more overt, I'm immediately less interested in working with that person."
Having Their Hands in Their Pockets
"A person seems uninviting when their hands are firmly placed in their pockets. It seems too bothersome for most to ask for a handshake at that point, and it also demonstrates a lack of security about oneself. Smart business people would be better off stuffing their pockets with their phone, wallet and keys so they can't possibly hide their fists there while out at a meeting or when networking."
Using Air Quotes
"I can't stand it when people make air quotes with their hands. It's just not necessary in any context."
Biting Their Nails
"I don’t like it when I see people biting their nails. If I’ve shaken their hands, it makes me feel like I need to run to the restroom to wash up. Most people bite their nails without thinking, but it’s really a big turnoff when you’ve just met."