Posted by Todd Smith
The impression you make on people through your handshake influences how they feel about you. A proper handshake is even more important when meeting people for the first time. First impressions are lasting impressions. The manner in which you extend your hand, the degree of firmness and the timing demonstrate your poise and confidence and will inevitably set the tone for your relationship. In this lesson we will explore the specifics of handshake etiquette and examine how a handshake can enhance your brand.
I know some of you are thinking, Come on Todd, I know how to shake someone’s hand. But realistically when was the last time you analyzed your handshake? Consider these questions:
Here are the answers:
Here are a few more questions to consider:
Every time I greet a male I shake his hand. Every time I meet a female who extends her hand to me, I shake it. This simple rule applies if it’s a Super Bowl party or a business meeting.
Well, you don’t want to feel like a limp noodle nor do you want to crack their knuckles. The best description I can offer you is “comfortably firm.” This is true for both men and women. In business, I have never heard of an occasion where either a male or female would consider a soft, wimpy handshake acceptable. How would you describe your handshake? Firm? Aggressive? Wimpy? If you don’t know, shake the hand of a good friend and ask for feedback.
As you shake people’s hands make sure you grip their entire hand and not just their fingers because you closed your hand prematurely. I hate it when that happens!
The answer: You should let go, when they let go. I often encounter people who want to hold my hand for an extra few seconds as they greet me. So as long as they want to hold my hand, I hold theirs.
Furthermore, you don’t want to hurry out of the handshake, as this will be an indication that you are not genuine in your greeting but rather just using the motion as a formality.
One last question. Let’s see how you do on this one.
The answer: hold it there until they grasp your hand. Removing your hand conveys a lack of confidence.
Here’s my challenge to you. Beginning with the next person you meet, focus on making a positive impression of yourself through your handshake. It may be a little uncomfortable or awkward at first, but like every lesson you are learning, the more you practice it, the better you will do.
If you will focus on doing the little things to make a positive impression on others, your value to the market will grow and your life will become more enjoyable and fulfilling.
Confidence, Personal Brand, Relationships
Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 34 years and founder of Little Things Matter. To receive Todd’s lessons, subscribe here. All Todd’s lessons are also available on iTunes as downloadable podcasts.
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