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I must admit that I don’t know much about Garth Brooks.

I know a little. I know that he is a widely recognized and decorated country music star. He is one of the bestselling musicians on the planet.


I learned a little more from his recent appearance. He was one of the outstanding artists selected as Honorees at the 43rd Kennedy Center Honors. He was in good company with four other honorees this year -multi-disciplinary artist, choreographer, and actress Debbie Allen; singer-songwriter and activist Joan Baez; violinist Midori; and actor Dick Van Dyke.

The award ceremony was televised on CBS on June 6th, 2021. It was a very moving tribute to giants in their fields.

Highlights of each artist’s career were shown, in addition to accolades from friends and admirers. Each honoree also gave heartfelt acceptance speeches.

Despite his many previous awards, this one seemed especially emotional and meaningful for Garth. You could see his unabashed enthusiasm for each of the other artists and his tearful appreciation of his own recognition. I came to see him as a very intense and sincere person. I liked that.

Here is a short clip with his sincerity on full display.


I learned a little more about Garth Brooks and his emotional and intense connection to his family and his work by way of a new two part documentary, just released from Netflix. This doc is an up close and personal look at his amazing journey through life and career.


Garth tells a simple heartfelt story in this Netflix documentary. He talks about a time when he went into his father’s workplace, met his father’s boss and shook his hand.

On the way home Garth got “the talk” from his father about sincerity, intensity and focus. His father said that the way you shake someone’s hand determines how interested you are in being there for them.

Garth said, “this was big for me”. His father explained that your handshake does not have to be a deathgrip – it has to be sincere. Your handshake, whether with a man or a woman, has to demonstrate that you are someone that can be counted on – that you are and will be there for them.

This was big for me too.

I have always felt that a handshake is an important part of communication with others. It is not supposed to be a competition or a power move. It is meant to establish and maintain a real connection with others.

What was big for me this time was hearing how convincing Garth was in explaining his father’s story. He emphasized sincerity as the key ingredient.

I couldn’t agree more – and couldn’t have articulated it any better. And when you hear Garth tell this story, you can hear the sincerity in his voice and see it in his facial expressions. He means it and it shows.

The simple, but important, message is that you want to shake hands like you mean it – mean it with sincerity and with your unwavering support for the other person. When you add in eye contact, leaning in a little and giving your full attention, you have the start of a powerful and lasting impression.

A little sincerity can make your connection a memorable one.

Until next time.


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