The handshake is still used daily in business and even socially – and if yours is not up to scratch you’re doing yourself a disservice – and sometimes putting people off you completely. A bad handshake can undo all the good you’ve done in a meeting, interview or with your first impression.
A nice firm grip, palm to palm, no posturing (that is trying to turn the other person’s hand downwards to give yourself the “power”), and one or two pumps all done with a nice clean, dry hand is all that is required to make people think you’re an honest, reliable, professional person. And remember to smile and to meet the eyes of the person whose hand it is your shaking at the same time, to ensure they see that you’re an honest, upfront person.
Now, there are a variety of handshakes I’ve been on the recipient end of that I wouldn’t recommend at all.
- The Finger Tipper – Where you only grasp the fingertips of the person you’re supposed to be shaking hands with. This is a handshake often given to women by men – it’s actually quite offensive to women as it indicates to us that you don’t take us seriously in a business environment.
- The Sweaty Palm – You’re nervous, your hands are sweaty, surreptitiously wipe them with a tissue or hanky before you shake. This handshake is a dead giveaway about your state of mind, and it’s pretty unpleasant being on its receiving end. If you find your palms sweat even when you’re not nervous, wash and dry your hands regularly, and make sure you’re not balling your hands into a fist, as this will make your palms sweaty.
- The Super Soft – Another handshake often received from men by women – you’re not grasping the other person’s hand tightly enough, and it indicates a lack of personal strength, power and authority. With this handshake, you won’t be taken seriously, by women or men. I’m not saying squeeze til the blood runs out of their fingers, but a firm grasp is what is needed.
- The Squeeze – Ok, this is the opposite of the super soft handshake, but where you squeeze any life out of the other person’s hand. It indicates to them that you’re overly aggressive and have a massive ego. Try easing up a bit so that they’re not grimacing in pain, you’re certainly not winning friends or influencing people (in a positive way) with this handshake.
Your handshake speaks volumes about you – practice with a friend or colleague if you’re not sure if yours is up to scratch. Make sure you don’t alter your handshake style between men and women, and remember, always look the other person in the eye when shaking to indicate that you mean what you say.
© Imogen Lamport 2010
Reprint This Article
If you would like to reprint this article, please feel free ensuring you credit Imogen Lamport as author, include my webs address www.bespokeimage.com.au and email to let me know where you are publishing it.