Rules of a Good Hand Shake

Rules Of A Good Hand Shake

By Rita Gangwani on Mar 24, 2023

Shaking hands is the most common greeting and gesture of good will. It is an art because it takes two people, in unison and agreement, to complete the act.It’s pointless extending your hand for a proper greeting when the other party is distracted or rushing off. Engagement is crucial so ensure the timing is right before making the gesture.

In business settings, whoever is hierarchically senior should initiate the handshake, e.g. during a job interview, the recruiting manager should offer a handshake to the candidate. In social interactions, allow older people and women to take the initiative.

Learning the art of the handshake is so easy. The aim is to be experienced as assertive, rather than passive or aggressive.

Three Steps to follow for an Effective Handshake

The Reach 

Keep between three to four feet (or 1 to 1.25 meters) between you and the person you will be shaking hands with. Don’t get too close and invade the other person’s personal space. Stand with proper posture.If seated, etiquette requires you stand up to shake hands.

Before extending your hand, introduce yourself. Extending your hand should be part of a business inroduction, not a replacement for using your voice.As u approach, extend your right hand in a vertical position with your thumb raised.Always offer your right hand for a handshake, unless there is an obvious reason why you should use your left, e.g. if either party’s right hand is injured. Ideally, as you reach toward each other’s hands, the first touch occurs when the web junctures between thumbs and index fingers meet. You’ll hardly notice it happening, but the “web-touch” is where the true handshake begins! If the web-touch doesn’t occur, a great handshake is very unlikely!

Ladies, Forget “Lady Fingers”. Offering only your fingers to shake may be appropriate in some social settings, but in business settings,you are an equal, not a “lady.” Extend your entire hand, and be sure to grasp using your entire hand as well.

The Clasp

Next, you will find yourself naturally entering into the clasp the moment that the “web-touch” has occurred. As the palms meet, clasp your fingers around your partner’s hand. The eyes meet! The clasp is the heart of the handshake. a gentle squeeze conveys warmth, but not so strongly that you feel the person’s pulse.In a business or political context, this entire ritual takes on a symbolic meaning so, unless you want to appear as overpowering or intimidating, do not use your left hand to “cup” the handshake or pat the person’s shoulder.

The Shake

With hands connected, , enter the shake.Shake From Your Elbow.If you shake from the shoulder, using your upper arm instead of just your forearm, you risk jolting your handshake partner. The idea is to connect, not be overbearing. Move your hands up and down a couple of times (no more than three), then release withing 7 seconds.Eyes connect until the handshake ends. Keep a smile on your face.

To avoid creating an awkward moment, your shake should end before the verbal exchange does. Without conversation taking place during the entire handshake, it becomes too intimate and can feel more like hand-holding.

Handshakes rituals differ from culture to culture, eg:, In Japan people may bow rather than shake hands and in the Arab world you should only initiate handshakes with people of your own gender…and so forth. Its always safe to read about International Business etiquette before u travel to a certain country and make an effort to respect the social norms.

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