Archive | May 2013

Shake Hands Like You Mean It

It is all about impressions.  Every meeting, planned or by chance, results in an impression made by the participants.  Be sure that the impression you make, in an interview and in life, is the best you can.

The handshake, a simple, often overlooked gesture, has the potential to say a lot about you.  A proper handshake portrays confidence and an engaging, positive personality.  A weak handshake, just the opposite; a lack of confidence and timidity. 

The proper handshake is right handed, web to web, one or two down and up motions and firm.  It is that simple.  No finger to finger, no 5+ seconds of vigorous shaking and no “dead-fish” lack of pressure.  However, keep in mind, firm means firm.  Shaking hands is not a strength competition in which your opponent submits by saying “uncle”.  The last thing you want to do is injure your participant.  That would not leave the right impression, though it would leave a lasting one.  A word of advice for a guy shaking hands with a woman.  Let her set the pressure and respond in kind.  This should avoid insulting her with a weak handshake or listening to the sound of her knuckles rubbing against each other.

And remember to always make eye contact.  Shaking hands is a social gesture, even in a business context.  Eye contact is always of paramount importance.

The greeting and conclusion of every encounter, will both provide the opportunity to properly shake a person’s hand…make each one count.