Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Handshake

What’s in a handshake? Should it be wet noodle, limp fish, or an iron grip? Is there a happy medium for a good handshake? Of course there is. When shaking hands, you are portraying your self-confidence, friendship, power, status, and self-worth. Your handshake says a lot about you. Make it firm but don’t squeeze the life out of the hand you are shaking. A good handshake bridges the gap between you and the other person. It should be a warm greeting, not a power play or an intimidation factor.
  • Your handshake should be firm but gentle. Men -- firm does not mean squeeze the hand like it’s in a vice grip.
  • Palms should touch, but not be compressed together. Again, don’t flatten out their hand until they are saying ouch.
  • If you have sweaty palm syndrome, wipe your palms in your suit jacket/pants pockets, casually, before you shake hands. You can keep a dry Kleenex in your pockets to help dry your hands.
  • The encounter should be long enough to make contact but not too long, usually two or three quick shakes or a quick count to three.
Shaking hands is a salutation, treat it as such. First impressions do matter – the handshake, the polished shoes, the clean shirt, well groomed hands. Make sure your handshake is part of the package that makes a great first impression.

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