Sunday Lifeline By Janet Adetu: Handshake Etiquette

A handshake is a brief greeting or parting tradition in which two people grasp one of each other ’s hands . Having a proper handshake is important because making a good first impression is essential in many social and business situations .

Inappropriate handshakes could leave an unpleasant impression about one , so it ’ s important to get it right

When to shake hands

According to www .thespruce .com , one might need to shake hands on several occasions including during an initial introduction , job interview, seeing someone one hasn ’ t seen in a long time , greeting guests when one is the host or hostess, greeting a host or hostess when one is the guest , saying goodbye to a friend or business associate , meeting in-laws or future family members , and others .

A handshake should be firm but not crushing

Be firm but not overpowering . If the other person offers a limp hand , one should give a gentle squeeze . This can be a cue for him or her to grip more firmly . One should never crush the other person ’s hand .

The handshake should last about 2 -5 seconds

Most people prefer shorter handshakes . Be observant and follow the lead of the other person , particularly if he or she is in a superior position to you in business or social circles .

If the other person continues holding one ’s hand for longer than five seconds , one can politely withdraw one ’s hand .

Be aware of your other hand

Most people use their right hand unless they have a reason to use the left. Ideally , one’ s left hand should be visible and unclenched .

Don’ t have your left hand in your pocket because this appears defensive.

Know when to initiate

The person in a higher position of authority or age should be the first one to extend a hand . For example , if you are interviewing for a job , the interviewer should be the one to take the lead . When meeting future in- laws , the father -in -law should start the handshake .

Stand and look the person in the eye

Don’ t seat down when shaking hands with someone. Make eye contact and offer a sincere smile to show that you are happy to be where you are. This shows respect and puts you on the same level as the other person . This also shows you are a confident person .

Be still and face the other person to prevent giving the impression that you are in a hurry to get away . If you are walking , try to stop , turn , and face the other person , unless it creates an awkward situation .

Don ’ t shake with wet hands

It is very unpleasant to extend wet hands to your colleagues , business associates and other persons, asides from your spouse.

If your palms get sweaty naturally, you should dry it off by using a clean handkerchief or tissue .
If your palm gets sweaty from you holding anything cold , switch the items to your left hand so you would not be passing the wrong information .

Wet fingers are a turn off and you have to keep your hands dry at all times.

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