The Handshake

A consistent greeting in the American culture is the handshake. Other countries greet with a bow, a hug, a kiss on the cheek, etc. Each culture has its own unique form of greeting. But in the business culture, a handshake is the acceptable norm.

Did you know you are judged by the quality of your handshake?

Here are a few tips for a great handshake (from

  • A proper handshake:
    • is firm but not bone-crushing
    • lasts about 3 seconds
    • may be “pumped” from the elbow once or twice
    • includes good eye contact
    • is released after the shake, even if the introduction continues
  • Extend a hand when:
    • meeting someone for the first time
    • greeting your host/hostess
    • greeting guests
    • saying good-bye
    • someone else extends a hand
  • Other tips:
    • Dry your hands if they are clammy or sweaty


Your handshake helps create a first impression of you. Aim for a firm, solid handshake (not weak or limp) that exudes a level of warmth and confidence.

Question for you: Are you aware of the quality of your handshake? 










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