The Art of The Handshake

From years of shaking hands in business, socially and when smoothing over disagreement - we understand the importance of a handshake, it’s a powerful tool which we all possess. Yet so many of us often get it wrong. Whether you’re greeting someone close or finally closing that crucial deal, use it well. Here are our top tips to make sure you get it right:

Stand strong, don’t be limp

For us, this is definitely the most common offence we’ve experienced. Cast your mind back to the last time you shook a limp hand, the chances are it wasn’t that long ago. A soft handshake often leaves a lasting impression but for all the wrong reasons. Simply put, it’s an awkward encounter, one that can be easily avoided. Naturally we don’t encourage a tight, overtly squeezed clench - this can be equally as criminal.

What we do recommend - be confident, keep a strong wrist and go in with purpose, making sure you actually lock hands and aren’t left shaking four finger nails. A useful tip - lead with your index finger pointing up the other parties wrist. This first stage is more than half the battle and will actually strengthen your counterparts handshake, so you’re actually doing them a favour here. Then simply maintain a firm grip, that’s all you need to do.

Let go

Once you have exchanged pleasantries, let go. A classic misdemeanour is holding on for too long. It becomes awkward, its unnecessary and often comes across as patronising. Keep it brief, two to five seconds should be more than enough, however less is always more. Up to three shakes is plenty.

Never get your second hand involved

Placing a hand on top of the handshake should be avoided at all times. It is patronising and portrays arrogance. Our advice here is short and to the point. Do not ever think about doing this, whoever you are, whoever’s hand you are shaking.

Eye contact

At the end of the day a handshake marks the beginning or end of a conversation. It may seem obvious to keep good eye contact throughout, but you’ll be surprised with how often many actually dip their eyes during a handshake. It’s an easy fix to put into action.

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