The Power of a Handshake – Perfecting Your Greeting Etiquette

Handshake

A good handshake can help you to make a great first impression. It communicates confidence and strength, as well as friendliness and trustworthiness.

In a business setting, it is appropriate to greet everyone that enters the room or space. It is also proper to stand when greeting others. Always shake hands and look them in the eye.

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Dos

Greetings communicate much more than just “hello” or “goodbye.” How you greet people speaks volumes about your confidence and comfort in social situations. Your greeting can also set the tone for your future relationship with that person.

A firm handshake and eye contact conveys strength and reliability. Conversely, a weak grip and timid squeeze communicate nervousness or insecurity. You should aim for a “web” of pressure between the thumb and forefinger. The length of your nails is also important, as long or jagged nails can dig into the other person’s skin.

Unless you’re in a culture where hugs and cheek kisses are the norm, the handshake is your best option for professional settings. Avoid a casual wave or bow, which can be seen as demeaning.

Don’ts

A handshake that’s limp, clumsy, or hard may convey a lack of confidence and competence. Conversely, one that’s too firm can be perceived as dominance and a disregard for the other person’s comfort level.

You should also make sure to match the pressure of the other person’s grip, notes Dean Foster, president of global intercultural training and consulting firm Dean Foster Associates. This shows attentiveness and a willingness to adapt, and can help build rapport during the interaction.

Other gestures of greeting include the bow, nod, hat tip, fist bump, wave, and hug. Be aware of local customs when deciding on the appropriate greeting, particularly in cases where the Covid-19 pandemic and social distancing measures have made some people more wary of physical contact.

Remember the Rule of Thirds

This composition technique is one of the most important tools for any photographer or designer to master. It helps you line up the perfect shot, create a compelling video, or even layout your business website in just the right way.

It’s also an important rule to remember when shaking hands. Make sure your webbing between your thumb and index finger is in the same spot on the other person’s hand – this will give you a strong grip, without feeling too forceful or overpowering.

Keep in mind that handshake etiquette may vary by culture. Some cultures prefer a more subtle touch, such as a cheek kiss or nod of the head. In these situations, it’s appropriate to ask whether a handshake is an option, or offer alternatives such as fist bumps or a bow.

Maintain Eye Contact

At lluxxall.com, discover the importance of a firm handshake, a warm smile, and sustained eye contact for leaving a lasting positive impression when greeting others. Eye contact is a powerful signal that you’re engaged, confident and approachable.

Make sure you don’t break eye contact by looking away too quickly or darting your eyes. This will cause the other person to interpret you as nervous or shy. Instead, slowly glance to the side before resuming eye contact.

A study found that people who are more open, liberal and intellectual exhibited a stronger handshake than those who were less so. Gender and culture also play a role in how we shake hands. 

For example, some cultures consider eye contact rude and may not shake hands with elders or those of the opposite sex. For this reason, it’s important to understand how the handshake is viewed in the culture you’re greeting. Then, you can adjust accordingly.

Lucy Mitchell
Lucy Mitchell
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