Handling etiquette

A good handshake can make or break your first impression. Correct handling is inevitable for a good personality. To grow into a successful person, one should focus on manners and etiquette. Here is a list of things that will help you develop your personality and make a good impression with your handshake.

  1. Stand up while shaking hands: This may seem simple and obvious, but there are people who mess this up by extending your hand while sitting or walking. Always make sure to stand still when shaking hands.

  2. Make eye contact and smile before shaking hands: It is always advisable to make good eye contact and offer a pleasant smile before shaking hands. They show that you are really glad to meet the person you are shaking hands with.

  3. Don’t have sweaty palms when shaking hands: Always make sure you have clean, dry palms before shaking hands. If you expect to meet new people, it is always advisable to wipe your palms first.

  4. Greet the other person: When shaking hands, greet the person. If you are meeting him/her for the first time, say “Nice to meet you, Miss/Mr. ——” or if you know the person then “Good morning/afternoon” or “Hi, how are you?” is appropriate. Be sure to use a title (Mr./Ms./Dr./Rev. etc.) and not a name until you get permission to call the person by name. Also remember that when meeting a person for the first time, using his/her first name (surname/first name as appropriate) will help you remember them and avoid awkward situations where you have to be introduced to the same person again.

  5. Hold hands tightly: A limp grip always leaves a bad impression, as does a bone-crunching grip. If you’re shaking hands with a lady, you can still have a firm grip – many ladies take offense when someone shakes their hand loosely just because they’re a woman.

  6. Length matters: Although etiquette books advise that a good handshake should last about 5 seconds, you can always take the other person’s cue and shake hands accordingly. If the person wants a longer/shorter handshake, give it to them.

  7. Thumb-to-thumb grip: A good grip is not a finger or palm handshake. The web between your thumb and index finger should meet the web between your thumb and index finger, for a good grip. Also remember that your left hand should NOT be in a pocket or otherwise defensive position when shaking hands – it should always be in plain sight, relaxed and open. In an intimate setting, you can use your left hand to cup the other person’s arm or touch the other person’s forearm, elbow, or shoulder.

  8. The handshake should be an up and down motion: You should shake hands up and down, not side to side. Also remember that when shaking hands, the movements should be from the point of the wrist onwards, not just the fingers.

  9. Initiating the handshake: The handshake should be offered by a person of higher rank, to a person of lower rank, in the environment. For example, an interviewer should offer their hand to the interviewee first (otherwise it would be seen as an attempt to dominate the interview), an executive to a junior employee, etc. This applies to both men and women. However, in a social setting, it is advisable for a man to wait until a woman offers her hand first, before shaking her hand. But many women won’t be offended if you extend your hand first. In a business environment, a senior male employee should initiate a handshake with a younger lady. Also remember, if you accidentally start a handshake when you shouldn’t, just complete it properly. The worst mistake is to withdraw your hand in the middle of a handshake.

10. Always end the handshake with a pleasant smile and eye contact.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: