Hand Shake Etiquette – Make a Lasting Impression

Your future lies in your hand only, quite literally! Whether you’re meeting a client, out on a first date or attending a family event, your first physical contact with another person is via a hand shake. This contact that lasts barely a few seconds reveals a lot about your character and personality. The person at the receiving end of the hand shake makes a judgment based on how power drive, weak, nervous or self-confident you are.

Trumped by a Peculiar Handshake

Global leaders are judged on their approach towards political relations based on their handshake. A not so popular world leader has been the man in question for his unconventional approach towards a hand shake. Tagged as a “tug” more than a friendly gesture, he has gone on to pat the hand shake with the other hand and more embarrassingly refused to shake hands with certain people, which has been interpreted as forceful and demeaning in most situations.

Your Guide to the Perfect Handshake

A hand shake is not meant to be a show of superiority but of sincerity. To begin with, the person in authority must offer his/ her hand first. Your confidence comes through the eye contact, looking away from the person may also translate into indifference and disinterest. Keep your grip firm but not forceful. An up and down motion lasting maximum of five seconds would count as a good shake. Your nervousness can be revealed through the hand not in use, keep it relaxed not clenched. A hand shake must be accompanied with a greeting introducing yourself and your basic designation in case of a business interaction. Also, sweaty palms in a big no-no, this is the easiest give away of your nerves. Match your hand gesture with a pleasant smile and the other person is sure to see you as reliable.

Handshakes around the World

In the corporate world, you will also meet people from various nationalities who have different forms of greeting. To make an effective first impression, your knowledge of their hand shake and greeting will highlight your interest and keenness to understand their culture. While in the USA a handshake is offered with a name introduction, in China the eldest person must be greeted first with a slight bow. The general perception in India is to wait for the elder to offer a handshake first and to use the right hand, and in Australia, the women offer their hand first. A light shake in the UK and a speedy, quick one in France are the general norm.

Do it Right on Your First Date

When you step out for your first date, the one thing that makes you the most nervous is the first one minute. This is when you break the ice and ease into a comfortable evening. While a hug may come across as too much, a handshake, on the other hand, will initiate a brief physical interaction that shows your positive personality. Ensure it is not bone breaking! Only if the lady in question leans forward to hug then follow up the handshake with a hug. 

Make a Positive Impression

As surprising as it may sound, a person makes a judgment about you within the first five to ten seconds. So your hand shake reveals a lot more about your personality than you thought. Your sub conscious mind translates your thoughts into a physical movement that can make the person at the receiving end understand your fear, over confidence, trust, dominance or inviting personality within a short span of time.

So while the astrologers do believe that the lines on your palms reveal your entire life, whether that is true or not, a shake of the hand will definitely shape your future!