Nov
14

How to Create First Impression with a Handshake!

By

I ran into an article recently that sorta threw me off on how to give a good hand shake. It was amusing at first then understanding the power of the first impression I started remembering handshakes I’ve had recently when I met people. In my life I guess my dad taught me what made a good handshake. Not everyone had the benefit of my dad so thanks to Kevin Eikenberry I’ll share his tips here.

1. Start with eye contact and a smile. A great handshake isn’t just about a physical gesture, it is about connecting with the other person. It is a physical greeting and you want to convey your pleasure in greeting the other person. The best way to do that is with your face and your eyes.

2. Go for the thumb. Keep your hand open and make sure your handshake will be a hand shake, not a finger or palm shake. This means getting the joint of your thumb (the lower joint – the tissue between your thumb to your forefinger) nestled into the joint of their thumb. This allows you to truly have a full handshake.

3. Firm, not strong. A good handshake is firm but not overpowering. It isn’t the precursor to a wrestling match, and it doesn’t feel like a dead fish. Do you wanted to be handed or greeted with a dead fish? I doubt it! Always make your grip firm, but make adjustments based on the firmness of the other person’s grip.

4. Up and down, not back and forth. A good handshake has a nice up and down motion, not a back and forth one, as if you were jointly trying to saw some wood. Again, adjust the motion to what seems natural and comfortable to the other person.

5. Adjust duration. Some people prefer a long handshake, others prefer them much shorter. Observe the other person and adjust the duration to the situation, how well you know the person, and what seems comfortable to them.

6. Consider your left hand. While it may not be appropriate in some cultures, I often use my other hand to grasp the other side of the person’s hand or to touch their arm. This gesture makes the handshake warmer and more personal. When I am trying to convey those feelings I include my left hand as well. You might consider doing that too.

7. Close with eye contact and a smile. If the smile and eye contact hasn’t continued throughout the handshake, finish it out that way.

After re-reading and thinking about these secrets several times, I realized that the deeper key to handshakes (as with many things in life) is intention. Keep your focus on the other person, and you will naturally do many of the things on the list. You will make the handshake a natural part of your connection process. You will make eye contact. You will smile. You will connect. You naturally adjust your grip, etc. You will focus on the other person.

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More Success,
Stacy O’Quinn
888-572-8842

Comments

  1. Debo Hobo says:

    I am a sturdy handshaker, however I find that quite a few others are not. I am not sure if they don’t want to hurt my hand or they think a fishtail hand shake is appropriate in business.

    Great article…

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