The other day I was introduced to speak on stage by the emcee and was greeted by a bone crushing handshake.
I’m a huge believer in the right handshake, so here is a summary of the handshakes that I’ve experienced and what I think they say about you:
1. The Limp Noodle: If your handshake can be mistaken as a light grace, you might be exposing a weak inner-being. In fact, many employers and business associates will see this as a sign that you lack confidence and ability in what you do. If you’re trying to be “gentle” with a female colleague, think again. Female professionals will appreciate and respect you for treating them just as you would a male counterpart. However most Alpha male and females may see you as submissive or a pushover.
2. The Bone Crusher: On the opposite end of the spectrum, don’t go in for the handshake with too much power up your sleeve, like the emcee. People will instantly wonder what you’re trying to overcompensate for and likely dismiss you immediately.
3. The Fancy Fool: While it’s become a trend to make the handshake “hip” by getting creative and trying new things (like the fist bump), this shows signs of immaturity and a complete lack of awareness. Save this one for your best buddies and family only.
4. The Lingerer: You’ve reached out with a good, firm grip, but forgot to let go. By lingering and holding on too long, you’re telling the other party that you’re desperate. Live by the “two second rule” and let go before it’s too late.
5. The Rusher: How does it make you feel when you speak to someone and they completely brush you off? That is very comparable to an abruptly short handshake. It is not only rude, but will evoke the sense that you don’t care and do not have time for this person.
6. The Look Away: A good handshake doesn’t stop with the hand, make sure you’re making eye contact and smiling. If you are someone who lacks in this area, you may be revealing a sense of insecurity, shyness and suspiciousness to future friends or employers.
7. The Perfect Handshake: Finally, the right way to shake someone’s hand. Remember to:
Make eye contact
Hold your right hand out
Give a good firm shake
Follow the two second rule
Smile! (Your smile where you look pleased to see someone)
Greet the other person and repeat their name
Be genuinely interested by asking questions about the other person
They will become interested in you, only if you are interested in them first. With this, you’re giving friends and colleagues the idea that you are trustworthy, warm spirited, confident, driven and prepared. This should be your go-to handshake in order to consistently create a positive first impression.