Have you ever considered if your handshake is a proper handshake?
In business, we are expected to give a firmly-gripped handshake to our colleagues and clients. Did you know a firm handshake with good eye contact shows self-confidence?
A handshake is a form of non-verbal communication and can say a lot about a person. An intense and forceful handshake can indicate someone being very dominant, whereas a feeble handshake can indicate someone who is shy, insecure and possibly an introvert.
Here are some tips you can use to give a proper handshake: -
1. Look the person in the eyes
Always maintain eye contact with the other person at the start of the handshake right till the end, this is a sign of respect and courtesy. You can choose to raise your eyebrows slightly for a second or so accompanied with a smile. This allows you to tell the other person that you are acknowledging them.
2. Bring out your right hand and grip the other person’s hand
It is best if both person’s hands are pushed all the way in to meet web-to-web to establish a full grip. Make sure your thumb is out and should be relaxed on top of the other persons hand.
3. In a vertical motion, shake a couple of times
The range of motion should be 2 or 3 inches. The motion should come from your shoulder, to your elbow, then to your hands.
4. When ending the handshake make sure it is smooth and you pull back softly and slowly
A good handshake should only last about 3 to 4 seconds.
Another important note to take is that when sitting you should always remember to stand up so that you can shake hands at the same level as the other person. This is also more courteous.
If you tend to have cold hands, try to stick your hands in your pocket as you approach a handshake. However, if you tend to have clammy or sweaty hands try and swipe your right hand on your skirt or trousers, which will help to dry your hand.
If you tend to have very sweaty palms, then consider rubbing your hands with an alcohol sanitizer or antiperspirant (one that is unscented and non-sticky).
Why is the handshake so important …
In a study completed by the University of Iowa, it has been found that handshakes are “more important than agreeableness, conscientiousness or emotional stability.” Studies in the UK have also found that a handshake can improve one’s interaction and consequently improve trust between two people within a couple of seconds.
Here are some types of handshakes you should avoid …
The limp: A lifeless handshake that is extended with not much motion or pump, particularly common among women.
The Machismo: Unfortunately, the people who fall under this category do not realise how strongly they grip another person’s hand, so it is best to try shaking hands with friends and family to get their opinion to avoid breaking a potential client’s hand … and not getting the deal!
The Dominant: The hand is extended palm-down, unfortunately this conveys you have the upper hand in the interaction. Always try and show your palm to the other person as this shows you are open and trustworthy.
The Two-Handed: This is when you use your left hand to close in on the other persons right hand, wrist, arm, shoulder or neck. You should avoid this handshake if you are having the first encounter with the other person, you should only perform this handshake with people who you already have a good relationship with such as family and friends. But the point of the two-handed handshake is to convey special warmth so do not attempt to perform this all the time.
It is easy to overlook the handshake at the start and end of an interaction or meeting, but as the handshake is used to complete deals and a way to pass on trust and reassurance it is somewhat our gateway to success, it is a way to convey warmth and trust without using any words. As we know, business is built on trust. Remember, a proper handshake is a first impression that will last a long time in a person’s mind.
Author: Milad Syed
Future Point 4 Business
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