Shake Hands like a Pro…

MSN Careers page had a useful article on when and how to shake hands this week.  It has important info for anyone who wants to project a professional, confident image.  A few things I would add to the list of do’s and don’ts:

  • DO prepare in advance to greet people with a good handshake by keeping your hands washed, nails clean, and refraining from coughing into your hand.
  • DO say the other person’s name as you extend your hand.
  • DO give eye contact and smile when you shake hands.
  • DON’T do the pinch (no description necessary – you all know what I mean)!  If you are a man, DO NOT do the pinch to a woman – it is a tremendous sign of disrespect.  If you are a woman, DO NOT do the pinch to a man – it signals weakness and insecurity.
  • DON’T wear perfumed, scented lotion or aftershave on your hands.  It is not polite to expect other people to smell like you for the rest of the day.
  • DON’T be ashamed to politely decline to shake if you have just obviously sneezed, blown your nose, or coughed into your hand.   As a mom of two, I am very comfortable saying, “So nice to meet you.  Please forgive me for not shaking hands, I seem to have a bit of a cold and don’t want to share it!”  Most people thank me for this.

You handshake conveys an awful lot about you in just a few seconds – it’s worth it to spend some time and thought to get it right!

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