Upon First Introductions
these types of handshakes that will hurt your influence
According to Stacey Hanke, have you ever wondered what your handshake
says about you? Your handshake is like your business card. It conveys your confidence,
credibility and influence without sharing a single word. Studies have shown this
one simple gesture can enhance a social situation and make a positive impact on
In western culture, a handshake accompanies almost every introduction
and initiates many conversations. It sets the tone for new relationships by signaling
others of your integrity. People often admit to judging others based on this small
gesture. Because of this, The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology encourages
everyone to pay attention to their handshake as it has found significant consistencies
in a firm handshake and a positive first impression.
Therefore make a great
first impression by considering your handshake and what it says about you and
be careful to avoid these eight types of handshake that will hurt your influence
1. Dead Fish
Also known as the limp noodle, this
handshake conveys weakness and uncertainty. It gives people the impression you
have a passive personality and can be easily overrun. Don't use this handshake
even when tempted to be gentle with a person due to age or gender.
Want someone to forget your name immediately? Squeeze their
hand with constant force. They'll be so distracted from the pain they'll tune
out anything you say. This type of handshake diminishes trust others are willing
to place in you. It sends the message you're trying too hard, and people will
likely question what you say after that.
3. Long Lingerer
things can make a handshake recipient more uncomfortable than someone who won't
let go of their hand. Handshakes should be no more than two seconds in length.
Anything longer begins to cross personal boundaries and feels like a desperate
invasion of space.
4. Hip Hipster
First bumps, hugs and fancy
handshakes have their place - with friends and family. They have no business in
the workplace. They reflect a lack of awareness and a need to be revered as 'cool'
not credible. Images of frat boys and football parties come to mind instead of
5. Brush Off
A handshake is intended
to kick-start a meaningful connection. When shaking someone's hand, be deliberate
with your eye contact and don't rush the exchange. Nothing makes someone feel
like they're unimportant or being blown off quite like shaking hands with a person
in a rush or looking around at others.
6. Wet Weasel
get nervous and have anxiety before big meetings or introductions. It's natural.
What isn't natural, however, is the feeling of contacting someone's sweaty palms.
You probably already know if you are likely to have unusually wet palms before
the introduction. If so, carry a handkerchief in your pocket to use just before
the introduction. You can also wash your hands with cold water to help keep them
cool under pressure.
7. Hand Hugger
We've all shaken hands
with someone who uses both of theirs to embrace ours both top and bottom. While
this is perfectly normal in a personal situation with friends and family, it's
out of place in a professional setting. You can convey a message of warmth with
your eyes, smile and choice of words. There is no need to embrace someone's hand
in such a personal manner.
The shug is best known
as a handshake that pulls the receiver closer to you physically, almost as if
you were going to hug them. It forces them to come closer as your hand stays closely
tucked into your body. While this type of handshake is common among friendly colleagues
and peers, it sends a message of favoritism to those on the outside looking in.
Remember your handshake conveys a message to everyone, not just the person with
whose hand you're shaking.
By Stacey Hanke, presented by Erin MacDonald-Birnbaum, email@example.com.
Stacey Hanke is the founder and communication expert of Stacey Hanke Inc.
She is the author of Influence Redefined: Be the Leader You Were Meant to Be;
Monday to Monday; and Yes You Can! Everything You Need From A to Z to Influence
Others to Take Action.