The Art of The Firm Handshake

The Results are in the Process
May 18, 2016


I have been asked on a number of occasions to mentor young business professionals and one of the first things I do is check out their handshake. This is done in such a way that I can provide quick guidance without making them feel self-conscious. If they reach and their handshake is weak – I casually say, “Oh come on, you can do better than that” and then immediately shake their hand using mine as an example. Most of them catch on and I do it so quickly that their pride is intact and they’ve walked away with something that could make the world of difference with a potential client or strategic alliance

Some quick handshake pointers – a handshake should be:

  • Firm.
  • Not too tight.
  • Not like a fish.
  • No fingertip handshake.
  • Nothing but space in between the two of you – come out from behind your desk or table to greet them.
  • Shake their hand at the beginning and end of the meeting.

A firm and direct handshake in conjunction with a smile and good eye contact communicate that you are confident and that you respect the other person.

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