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How to Give a Proper Handshake (with Mistakes to Avoid!)

A proper handshake can speak volumes about the person and leader that you are. At the same token, it can also portray you as someone who is less qualified if your handshake is subpar. Here are some tips on how to give a phenomenal handshake and some mistakes that should be avoided at all cost!

Do This:

  1. A handshake should be made with both people using their right hands (Believe it or not, left-handed handshakes are more common than you might think!).

  2. A handshake should last only a few pumps and then should be released.

  3. Both people should have the same level of firmness with their grip! A good rule of thumb would be to give a solid 7/10 power handshake and adjust as needed. It is important to not be too hard or too soft, so make sure to match the other person’s strength.

  4. Make sure to introduce yourself before or during the handshake if you do not know the person.

  5. If you miss your mark and mess up, smile and kindly say, “Let’s try that again.”

Pretty simple, right? Well, how about we go over some of the most common blunders during handshakes!

Avoid This:

The Wet Fish: No one wants to shake a cold, wet, and limp hand! It is important that your hands are dry and your handshake is firm.

The Bone Crusher: This handshake will scream, “I do not like you” to the person receiving it! It is not kind or professional to almost break someone’s hand, so be sure to be firm, not bone-crushing.

The Fingertip Handshake: This handshake is more common between male/female interactions, however, it is an expectation to shake the modern woman’s hand like anyone else! Male/female handshakes need to be executed the same way as male/male or female/female as a sign of respect.

The Pump Handle: This handshake is one of the most awkward kinds there are! It is when someone will not let go and excessively pumps your hand more than a standard 2-3 times. Do not be this person!

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