Handshake Etiquette

A handshake provides a broad platform upon which it can be used. Business considers it as the only consistent physical contact which can be used in greetings or signaling a common understanding. Depending on the culture of individuals using it, situations at hand, or even closeness, it can portray different meanings.

According to Fox , a handshake can be considered as a short ritual between two people in communication. This is approximately 2-5 seconds. Grasping of the right hand initiates the up and down movement which is brief. Proper handshake etiquette should be observed regardless of any given situation.

A handshake should be done with care since it determines the tone of the relationship. . In the business world, handshake does not prioritize issues of gender. Extending the hand can be initiated by any person. Types of handshakes include the bone crusher, wet fish, finger handshake, arm puller, stiff arm thrust, dominating and tickler.

It is essential that one determines the type of handshake to use and when to initiate the handshake. Position and age matters in this case. Elderly or those higher in ranks should be the ones to extend their hand. However, in case an individual initiates a handshake first, then it is considered as rude to withdraw. One should follow through and smile as introduction continues. Essentially, looking at the opponent while standing is best before making the handshake. This also marks a show of respect for the elder or those higher in position. Luke (2012), argues that signs and gestures are vital since they indicate when it is appropriate to shake hands, when to stop, extend and strength of shaking. Facing away indicates that you might be in a hurry hence might create an awkward situation.

Handshakes have been majorly used during greetings followed with conversations (Fox, 2007). A greeting is appropriate before and after a handshake. A business handshake demands that the shake should remain firm and not crushing unlike for the case of old friends who have not met for a long time. Giving a squeeze that is more than normal can easily set a confrontational tone and distinguish a show of power. This can be bad for the existing association. Cultures place a different meaning to a handshake and how it should be conducted. This establishes a good first impression. It is essential that you correctly point out the gestures of the other person so as to direct you appropriately.

It is essential to understand the situation upon which a handshake is initiated and the reason for the handshake. This will help one determine the length, vigor, completeness of grip, eye contact and even strength than can be applied.