A senior manager once told me that the key to creating a rapport, that first connection, with his clients is his smile and handshake. That’s the moment he’s got half the sale because he has set the tone of the meeting and made his clients feel at ease.
26% of hiring managers say that a weak handshake is a major turnoff for a job seeker.
It is not without reason that first impressions are called last impressions. A good handshake tells your story. It shows the person you are greeting, your personality as well as your attitude.
Messages a handshake can convey
• The Bone crusher or Vice handshake – bone breaking squeeze. Aggressive, overbearing.
• The Dead fish or Limp handshake – weak and clammy hands. Disinterested, introvert, shaky, not confident.
• The Claw – using only fingers in a claw-like grasp. Inauthentic, shallow.
• The Water Pump – exaggerated up and down movement. Extreme, Insincere.
• The Firm Handshake – palm to palm, 2-3 pumps, delivered with a smile. Warm, sincere, confident, leadership qualities.
Here's a humorous video to illustrate the above a bit more.
A handshake is the first and last thing we do at a meeting so getting it right is important.
Here are 7 tips -
- Start conversation or an introduction
- Stand up while shaking hands to show respect
- Walk around anything (a table) that may be between you and the person you are shaking hands with
- Establish eye contact to let the person know they are important. Also helps avoid the ‘missed hand’ situation.
- Smile – is actually the handshake before the handshake
- Shake hands – a full palm to palm, firm-grip handshake with a hand pump 2/3 times (shake from the elbow) is perfect
- Dry hands – if you tend to have sweaty hands, keep a tissue in your pocket and use it before you know you are going to be shaking hands (not in front of the person). Vice versa – if you have shaken hands with a sweaty palmed person, do not wipe your hands immediately and embarrass them. Do it discreetly or later.
• At work, there is no gender bias – you shake hands firmly with men and women. Be the first to put out your hand.
• Socially – you can wait for the lady to extend her hand first
• When you are traveling to different countries keep in mind traditions around greeting people including handshakes.
Observe and practice handshakes with your friends and colleagues and get honest feedback. Share your interesting experiences with us and feel free to ask questions.