April 6th, 2012

What Does Your Handshake Say About You?

by Jacqueline Whitmore

The handshake is a sign of goodwill and mutual respect. But in the business world a handshake-gone-awry can send the wrong message.

In my business etiquette seminars, I describe the four hazardous handshakes: The “Bone Crusher,” a.k.a. “The Terminator;” the “Finger Holder” or the “Queen’s Handshake;” the limp, dead fish (self-explanatory) and the “Rubber Glover,” where both hands are gripped (popular among politicians).

A handshake reveals a lot about a person. It reveals one’s traits, feelings, and motivations. It may also reflect how you feel about yourself. For example, someone with a limp handshake might not be as assertive as the Bone Crusher.

If you want to perfect your handshake you should stand when you shake someone’s hand. Look the other person in the eye.

Smile. When you extend your hand, make sure your fingers are extended and your thumb is up until contact is made. Give two or three quick pumps and you’re done. If you want to show a little extra sincerity, linger a few seconds before letting go.

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