Friday, July 22, 2011

Let's Shake Hands!

I receive a lot of e-mails from my readers about "Handshaking Etiquette." So here's a little "Handshaking Etiquette" for all y'all!

Handshaking is a valuable form of nonverbal communication. It is a vital part of creating a first impression and sending a parting message. The handshake is the only socially acceptable situation in which you can touch a stranger of the same or opposite sex without raising suspicion.

When introducing yourself to others you should: Stand up, Smile, Make Eye Contact, Introduce Yourself, and Shake Hands.

What is a handshake? A handshake is when two people grip and shake each other's hand. Handshaking is important when you meet and say hello to another person. It is also important to shake a person's hand when you say goodbye.

Right now, hold up your right hand. This is the hand that is used when you shake hands. Now spread your fingers apart. Do you see those webs between your fingers? Humans have webs between their fingers just like ducks have webs between their toes.

To get ready for a handshake, hold up your hand--fingers flat and straight out, with your thumb straight up. To make a good handshake, you must gently and slowly move your hand up and down, bending your arm at the elbow. Your grip should be firm, but not crushing. Make sure the web between your thumb and index finger is touching the other person's web!

There are a few basic handshakes you might experience when shaking hands with others:

~The finger squeezer--The person squeezes your hand too tight...not a proper handshake.
~The water pumper--The person pumps your hand up and down like he or she is drawing water from a well...not a proper handshake.
~The two-handed handshake--The person grabs your hand with both of their hands. This handshake is sometimes used by clergy when conveying acceptable handshake--by a clergy.
~The palm pinch handshake--The person offers two or three fingers. This is an old-school handshake, especially used by Southern ladies...very old-fashioned handshake and not acceptable in a business situation.
~The topper handshake--The dominant party in this handshake has his or her palm facing down in relation to the other person. This says "I'm in control."...not a proper handshake.

There are two basic rules on who extends the hand first:

In a social situation when a lady meets a man, the lady has the prerogative to extend her hand or not. The man should wait for the lady to extend her hand first. If she doesn't, then a handshake should not take place.

In business, it's based on military protocol, and gender is not a consideration. The person of higher authority is supposed to extend first. Not everyone in the business community knows that piece of etiquette. Give the person of higher authority a chance to extend first, and if he/she doesn't, then go ahead and extend your hand.

Due to cultural differences, physical capabilities, et cetera, do not insist on shaking someone's hand or make a big deal over it...just exchange greeting gestures poliltely.

Remember, remove your gloves to shake hands...only the Queen of England can get away with shaking hands while wearing gloves!


Anastasia Schembri said...

Super post Miss Janice! Hope you don't mind if I tweet!
Have a marvelous weekend!!

annie said...

I appreciated this post so much.
I love learning these things :)

Keep cool and have a lovely weekend.

Suburban Princess said...

I remember when I was in grade 5 getting a booklet from school that said a lady doesn't have to take her gloves off to shake hands. Now I need to see if I can find it!

Someone gave me a dead fish handshake today! *shudder*

Kara said...

Excellent info.
I am often introduced to my husband's co-workers/directors (males)and they always seem awkward with the handshake, so I initate it first...more from a sense of "let's not embarass them" than them knowing the proper protocol.
Glad to know my Mama 'knew her stuff'
Miss Kara

Magnolia Blues said...

When I was working out in California (10 years ago) a salesman came to our office and nearly broke my receptionist's hand. She literally had tears streaming down her face. Nothing had conspired that would have made him angry with her so it was really shocking to everyone in the office why he would have done such a thing. Needless to say, he didn't get the account. This is a great post!!!