Monday, July 25, 2011

Shake Hands, Shake Them Right

A handshake is usually the first physical contact when
two persons first meet.

Everyone knows how to shake hands but not everyone does it right.

A handshake is a form of human communication ritual that is commonly practiced across geographical and cultural borders. The exact origin of this ritual is unknown. Some historians suggest that it might have started as early as the 5th Century BC during the Ancient Greece times.

A handshake is more than just for saying 'Hi!'. During the medieval times, two men would grasp each other's bare hand to show that they were free from concealed weapons. In a way, a handshake is to demonstrate openness between two persons.

Allowing another to enter our personal space is
an indication of acceptance.

Human beings need physical personal space to feel safe and secure. Establishing physical contacts between two persons means breaking into each other's 'safe zones'. That would need some amount of trust.

The same idea is also extended to the geek world. In information technology, handshaking describes a process where a computer communicates and connects with another device such as a printer.

Today, we usually shake hands with another without much contemplation. Many may have missed out or forgotten some 'good practices' when it comes of a good business handshake. 

Let's look at some of these 'rules' again:

12. Be the first mover: Be ready to extent your hand in one confident move.

11. Don't 'squeeze': You grasp firmly but not too tightly.

10. Dry your palms: If you have sweaty palms, wipe them dry first.

09. Warm your cold hands: Holding a cold fish in the hand is not a good feeling. Give your hands a good rub before grabbing someone's hand.

08. Use your right hands: Sorry lefties, the use of your left hands can be odd and in some cultures, offensive.

07. Say something: A silent handshake can be awkward. A simple 'how do you do' would go well with this age-old ritual.

06. Make eye contact: Establishing a quick eye contact is a good way to establish a positive human relationship. I said a quick eye contact, not stare.

05. Smile: This is an universal language to mean 'friendliness'. A firm and sincere handshake and a sulky face simply don't gel.

04. Note cultural difference: Do expect some variations across cultures. In some situations, it might not be acceptable for men to shake the hands of their female counterparts. Do your homework first.

03. Let go: Don't grasp for too long. It may seem like eternity to the other person.

02. Bear with your discomfort: Even if you feel disgusted by the touch of a sweaty palm, do not wipe your hand on your pants in front of the other person.

01. Do not reject: It is offensive to reject an handshake without a good reason. Unless your religion or culture suggests that it would be inappropriate to do so, you are expected to reciprocate. Well, I suppose you could be excused if you have an injured hand.

Give a good first impression by giving
a good handshake.

It won't be wise to under-estimate the importance of a good handshake in the business world. The first impression counts and part of the impression comes from how your do the handshake.

Handshaking is an art. The next time you shake some hands, shake them right.

"Each contact with a human being is so rare, so precious, one should preserve it." ~Anaïs Nin~

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1 comment:

Comedy Quotes said...

I like the way you explained about “Shake Hands, Shake Them Right”. Great ideas you have. Thanks.