Or did you?

Consider the handshake.

It can make or “brake” a relationship – literally. Ever been to a networking event and feel your ears close at the handshake…losing you at hello? One of those handshakes that literally throw the brakes on your first, second and third impression.

Recently, for me, it was one of those light-weight, wet fingers coming in from the top taps.

The handshake is a non-verbal communication that is loaded with assumptions and labels, and even though I know they are assumptions, I couldn’t get past this guy’s “jello” handshake. Darn-all those labels and thoughts that went through my head because of that lousy handshake! That one moment altered my entire perception of him.

Ever been on the receiving end of a weak, ineffective handshake? Did it set off thoughts of timid, nervous, aren’t happy to be here, no energy, perhaps even frail through your head? The infamous “jello” handshake usually uses just the fingers and doesn’t involve the whole hand. Other bad handshake etiquette includes:

  • Withdrawing the hand too quickly, or holding on too long.
  • Using a death grip, a crushing clamp or the limp hand.
  • And my all time favorite the damp hand.

At A Glance:

A handshake involves more than the hand to say confidence and credibility. Before going into a handshake situation make sure your hand is always dry and make sure you are breathing low and comfortably.

Upon meeting, make eye contact and a genuine slow smile. A big grin looks insincere.

Extend your right hand by opening the palm and extend the open hand. Hopefully, the recipient’s extends their hand—close your hand around the recipient’s hand, firmly, (no squeezing now). Shake their hand up and down a few inches, several times, before releasing the recipient’s hand. (And please don’t touch their arm like the photo unless you are already close friends.)

No need to put the brakes on first meetings even before they get started….

Have a great day whatever your adventure


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