Throughout 40 years of business networking I have come across some of the oddest handshakes on the planet. Better known as grasps, greetings, grips and shakes! The history of the handshake dates back to the 5th century B.C. in Greece. It was a symbol of peace, showing that neither person was carrying a weapon. Some say that the shaking gesture of the handshake started in Medieval Europe. Knights would shake the hand of others in an attempt to shake loose any hidden weapons. One popular theory is that the gesture began as a way of conveying peaceful intentions, symbol of good faith, friendship and loyalty. When they clasped hands, people showed that their word was a sacred bond.
I’ve always wondered why some people (both men and women) shake your hand with just 2 or 3 of their fingers or they barely touch your hand at all! Then you have those who try and crush your bones! And let’s not forget the handshakes that are really sweaty.
How you shake hands with another individual gives them immediate feedback on who you are. Confident, shy, angry, friendly, overachiever, wanting to impress and the list goes on! Whether we like it or not first impressions are very important! It’s the friendly or not so friendly connection here. You’re physically touching someone’s hand. Again, first impressions can give them the wrong impression of who you really are.
The Limp Noodle:
It is believed to show a weak inner-being. Many employers and business associates will see this as a sign that you lack confidence and ability in what you do. Female professionals will appreciate and respect you for treating them just as you would a male counterpart.
The Bone Crusher:
People will instantly wonder what you’re trying to overcompensate for and likely dismiss you immediately.
The Fancy Fool:
New “hip” handshakes may show signs of immaturity and a complete lack of awareness. Save this one for your frat brothers and family only.
By lingering and holding on too long, you’re telling the other party that you’re desperate. Live by the “two second rule” and let go before it’s too late.
How does it make you feel when you speak to someone and they completely brush you off? That is very comparable to an abruptly short handshake. It is not only rude, but will evoke the sense that you don’t care and do not have time for this person.
The Look Away:
A good handshake doesn’t stop with the hand, make sure you’re making eye contact and smiling. If you are someone who lacks in this area, you may be revealing a sense of insecurity, shyness and suspiciousness to future business.
The Perfect Handshake:
Finally, the right way to shake someone’s hand. Remember to:
• Keep good posture
• Make eye contact
• Hold your right hand out
• Give a good firm shake
• Follow the two second rule
• Greet the other person and repeat their name
With this, you’re giving friends and colleagues the idea that you are trustworthy, warm spirited, confident, driven and prepared. This should be your go-to handshake in order to consistently create a positive first impression.
Sometimes, when you’re leaving you may want to consider shaking their hands but this time using both of your hands. Shake with your right hand and put the left hand to the left of their hand………..it relays how much you have enjoyed meeting them and you look forward to seeing them again. It comes across even warmer and friendlier.