HOW TO SHAKE HANDS
by Valerie Singer
Historically used to show that both people were unarmed, the handshake today is a critical gauge of confidence, trust, sophistication and mood.
- Extend your right hand to meet the other person's right hand.
- Point your thumb upward toward the other person's arm and extend your arm at a slight downward angle.
- Wrap your hand around the other person's hand when your thumb joints meet.
- Grasp the hand firmly and squeeze gently once. Remember that limp handshakes are a big turnoff, as are bone-crushing grasps.
- Hold the handshake for 3 to 4 seconds.
- Pump your hand up and down a few times to convey sincerity. (This is optional.)
- A two-handed handshake is not for first meetings. It is a sign of real affection and should be reserved for friends or intimates.
- Handshakes are not appropriate in all cultures. Brush up on your knowledge of cultural traditions if you will be visiting a foreign country.
6 More Tips
- Lasting impression. Studies show that the impression made when you shake hands is a lasting impression, and that looking directly at the other person is one of the most important factors in making the impression. So, look at the person (and smile).
- Don't be a bone crusher! When shaking hands with a woman make your handshake firm but, don't crush her hand. Let the woman determine the firmness of the handshake; follow her lead.
- Put a smile on your face. Whenever shaking hands with someone, always smile. Believe me, it makes the other person feel happy.
- Remember the cultural aspect. Many cultures are hesitant about shaking hands. Within the Native American community, it's done with gentleness and great respect. Eye contact is not a comfortable action, so don't look for it.
- Make eye contact. It is very important to make eye contact, as it demonstrates sincerity.
- Wipe your hand first. When shaking hands for the first time, make sure you wipe any sweat onto your trousers. This will prevent your hand from feeling like a wet bag of clams.