Manner Monday: Handshake

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A handshake is meant to convey trust.  It can also lend an air of equality, provide balance amongst parties, and show respect.  A good handshake sends a great nonverbal message, adding to a great first impression.  A poor handshake leaves the person on the receiving end of the shake thinking; “ugh”, “limp fish”, or “this person is lacking in self confidence” which makes for a less than stellar first impression.

The “fist bump” has gained popularity in casual settings.  While a fist bump can sometimes be an appropriate replacement for a greeting: the business world and formal occasions still require a formal handshake.  Basically, you can’t walk into an interview or business meeting and offer up a fist bump expecting to get the job or seal the deal.

Here are some tips to polish your good old-fashioned handshake to make it shine:

  • Always stand (if able) when shaking someone’s hand.
  • Hands should be clasped, so that the bases of the thumbs meet.  There should be firm pressure, but not a tight grasp.  You don’t want the person thinking “ouch”.
  • Make eye contact when shaking hands.
  • When shaking hands with someone in your office, come out from behind your desk.
  • Be patient and give the person you are shaking hands with your attention, don’t look past them to the next person, rushing them along.

So the next time you have the opportunity to shake hands, give your self-confidence a boost…look the person in the eye and offer a nice firm handshake.

Please visit my post ‘What is Manner Monday?’ to learn more about how to make the most of Manner Monday. Do you have a ‘manner’ you would like to see covered on Manner Monday?  Feel free to send me your thoughts.

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