Seven Rules To The Perfect Handshake
By Alex Borg
Shaking hands in a particular way makes a big difference when you are making a first impression. Although you could think the handshake is so insignificant when meeting someone new, this is literally the first physical contact you make with the perfect stranger across from you. Physical contact stimulates the brain which you unconsciously interpret. It is important this non-verbal communication is interpreted in your favor. The last thing you want to give off is the vibe, “I don’t know what it is...but I just don’t like that guy.”
Rule 1: Don’t miss. There’s nothing more awkward when you can’t make the connection. Fumbling for a hand creates an unspoken uncomfortable feeling as you brush finger tips on the others palm, wrists, etc. You will miss occasionally. Be prepared to employ some fun banter or a casual joke. This will ease the tension in the air.
Rule 2: Don’t collapse your hand. This comes across as timid and insecure. Most will interpret this as self-doubting, as though you didn’t believe in the company or product you are representing. I am certainly less inclined to buy a product or service from a professional whose hand collapses when I shake it.
Rule 3: Don’t crush the guy’s or girl’s hand. You’re not proving anything. The best hand shake is as firm as the other in the shake.
Rule 4: While there is no official amount of time or number of virtual shakes to the perfect handshake, studies have shown handshakes that last between four and six seconds allow the brain to release hormones which are most often interpreted positively. The unspoken communication and chemical interpretation in the brain creates an immediate connection between the two parties. It’s this type of synergy that you want to create when meeting someone new.
Rule 5: Make eye contact and smile. This illustrates to the other that you are genuinely interested in meeting them and have a positive attitude about learning more about him and his business.
Rule 6: Wear your name tag on your right shoulder. When you stick out your right hand to shake, the eyes naturally gravitate to the shoulder and elbow of the other party. This helps the other person see and remember your name after your conversation is underway.
Rule 7: Last but not least, make sure your hands are clean. No one wants to shake a greasy or paint stained hand. After you finished painting the deck or changing your oil over the weekend, get some turpentine and clean off your hands. If you have cuts on your fingers, palms, or top side put a Band-Aid over it. Scabs and open cuts are a big turn off. Guys, be sure your finger nails are trimmed. Girls, nail polish or gloss gets noticed by both men and women.