The handshake: Are you doing it properly?

agreement-2286439_640Often first impressions really count. When you are meeting someone for the first time there are a few ways to say hello. Traditionally, in a business setting at least, you may shake someone’s hand. Have you ever wondered if you’re doing it properly? With these tips you can make sure that you have a great handshake and give a wonderful first impression of yourself.

Make eye contact

When you make eye contact with someone this helps to show interest in the other person. By making eye contact you have taken a second to make the effort and this can help build trust too. Making eye contact can also be a great way to avoid being accidentally distracted and looking elsewhere.

Don’t have wet or dirty hands

Nobody wants to shake hands with someone who is sweaty or even worse has dirty hands. Ensure that you use hand sanitiser if you don’t have time to give your hands a wash. Typically hand sanitiser takes a minute to dry so take this in to account if you know you are going to be meeting someone for the first time.

Have a firm grip

It can be a fine line between having a limp handshake and gripping so hard that you crush someone. A firm grip when offering a handshake can give people a great first impression. A firm grip shows strength and that you are putting the effort in to shaking someone’s hand.

Approach from the front not the side

When you are going to offer a handshake always ensure that you offer from the front of the person’s view and not the side. This can help to avoid those awkward moments when the other person doesn’t see you and appears to reject your handshake offering.

Keep it short

When you are offering a handshake keep it to around 3-4 pumps to avoid extending it to long. This avoids any awkward moments when one of you may try to end the handshake and the other person holds on. Always keep it short but firm!

Don’t stay seated

If you are seated and somebody is walking towards you make the effort to stand up. This will make the person feel welcome and important, which is always a nice way to make a great first impression. This doesn’t apply if you are both seated though. In this case you are fine to offer out a handshake while you stay seated.

Wait until you are within reach of one another

Much like offering your handshake from the front of a person’s view always make sure that you are within reach of one another. This avoids any awkward moments where you have to lunge forward or your stride isn’t quite quick enough to reach their offering before it is withdrawn again.

Now that you have these great tips your handshake will be giving off a great first impression of you. Let people know that you mean business, are welcoming but that you don’t dawdle on unnecessarily long greetings.