Ministry Etiquette

Important Handshake Etiquette
February 1, 2012 By

Handshake EtiquetteImportant Handshake Etiquette
by Norma Hanna

Handshake etiquette is more significant than you might assume. After all, it is well understood that first impressions are an factor in interviewing and in just about any other social situation. And a satisfactory handshake is absolutely a part of your first impression.

Think of this as a quick guide to handshake etiquette:

1. First of all, you should stand (if you are able) anytime you shake hands. This is just a form of showing regard for the other person. Shaking hands while sitting is a lazy greeting. Shaking hands while sitting is much too casual.

2. Be sure to look the person in the eye when you're shaking their hand. This shows confidence as well as an acknowledgement that they are significant enough for you to give them your full attention. Looking down could show weakness (in most cultures) and looking away could make it appear that you're disinterested.

3. When you shake hands, introduce yourself and greet the other person. Once the greetings are over with, the handshake should end as well.

4. Shake solidly but not too hard, and let go gently when finished. By that, I mean you should feel that letting go is mutual.

Things to avoid:

1. Don't feel that you must overpower the other individual. This shows immaturity, and no one wants to deal with people who have to prove themselves in that way. Squeezing a person's hand too hard is very poor handshake etiquette.

2. On the other hand, you do not want to present a "dead fish." The weak, dead fish handshake is maybe just as bad as trying to overpower them. It makes you feel like you want to go and wash your hands afterwards.

3. The two-handed handshake or the "politician's handshake." This is generally regarded as trying to be far too welcoming when you don't truly know the person. You might possibly see politicians doing this from time to time with people in a crowd.

4. Sweaty palms. I realise that social scenarios can be nerve-wracking for many people, so it might be a good idea to dry your hand quickly just before shaking hands with anyone if you're prone to having sweaty palms. Shaking a sweaty hand, yet again, makes you want to reach for the sanitizer.

5. Remember in the past when women used to shake with just their fingertips? Well those days are gone. Shaking hands with "lady fingers" was a sign of femininity and is usually unnecessary in today's world. If you're going to do that, you might as well curtsy too.

6. Timing. Don't let the handshake go longer than it has to. Going just a little too long could be a little awkward, and ending too abruptly could offend the other person!

If you're still unclear about proper handshake etiquette, you may possibly want to practice with your friends! It might sound absurd, but your friends won't judge you the way strangers will.

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