This past week, I performed at a corporate special event for an international hedge fund. There were forty traders and at least half of them were women. It’s a very different climate for traders now than it was thirty-five years ago, when I first began reading hands at corporate events. There were very few female traders in the field. I used to feel awkward holding another man’s hands in mine. I didn’t possess the confidence or the sage-like appearance that I have now as I read a person’s hands. As I make eye contact, I’m able to talk about anyone’s personal issues and challenges and offer helpful and hopeful advice.
I remember my first hedge fund event. I was the only entertainment for over fifty male traders. Most of them were ex-high school macho men and football jocks. As I anxiously waited for my first client to present his hands, I was wishing that the meeting planner had chosen a woman for the job. These guys were joking about holding hands with me. “Tell him he’s a faggot”, along with other derogatory comments were tossed from the peanut gallery as they showed up at my table and reluctantly exposed themselves to my scrutiny.
Toward the middle of the evening, the CEO of the company got up and spoke about how proud he was of his team and what wonderful “producers” they were. He joked about hiring a “fortune-teller”. When he was finished, his strong handsome looking thirty-year-old son swaggered over to my table despite jeers from his peers. He faced me, smirking skeptically at me with his back to his friends. As I examined his long narrow palms and long fingers and looked into his eyes, I could see that he was a “Feeling” type. A majority of “producers” are aggressive “Intuitive” or practical “Sensation” types. Underneath his practiced facade, he was shy and not really a producer by nature. He was trapped being his father’s son and forcing himself to perform for his dad.
“You’re not like the others”, I whispered. Involuntarily, his eyes swelled with tears. We spent his five minutes talking about how important it was for him to be true to his feelings. He needed to cultivate intimacy and trust more than he needed to have expensive things and find a trophy wife. I encouraged him to be more honest with his dad; however, I could see from his tightly connected head and life line that fear of disappointing the man and losing his approval was too great. Regaining his composure, he returned to his friends, less the swagger.