While it may seem like a simple gesture, it’s amazing how much a handshake conveys to us. Those few seconds can potentially empower – or deflate – a new relationship.
Through the ages, the handshake has been a means of introduction, a symbol of agreement and a bond of trust. As a result, a good handshake has become both a minimum requirement and a powerful differentiator for politicians, diplomats … and business developers.
Admit it; we all have shaken hands with Mr. Death Grip or Ms. Limp Fish. Both made quite an impression – and likely not a positive one. So to avoid those scenarios and make a positive first impression, here are a few handshake tips: (1) Relax, it’s just a handshake. Getting stressed out can make your hands clammy; (2) Use a firm grip, without squeezing too hard; (2) Make direct eye contact; (3) Smile and radiate confidence and enthusiasm; (4) Release.
As with all social encounters, sometimes ‘handshake moments’ just don’t go as planned. If things go awry, don’t stress about it. Just laugh, reload, and try again. Lightening up an uncomfortable situation can actually enhance your image of self-confidence and put the other person more at ease.