Erika Preval - Simply Put

Tag: handshake

Let’s Get Down to Business: HANDSHAKE ETIQUETTE


It’s National Business Etiquette Week, and I’m celebrating by sharing quick tips for ensuring you’re viewed as a polished professional. Please follow along and share these posts that will appear throughout the week.

In America, the handshake is the typical business greeting. A lot can be perceived from a person’s handshake, so please review the primer on grip and then consider these additional ingredients:

Eye contact – Making eye contact is Etiquette 101, and the proper way to greet anyone. Evading eye contact often leads to distrust by the person you’re greeting. Looking someone in the eye is a display of confidence and that the person you’re greeting has your attentions.

Stand up – If you’re seated when someone greets you, regardless of gender, stand up. It is a basic sign of respect and places you on the same level. You establish your presence when you stand.

Stay dry – No one wants to touch a sweaty palm. Ensure your right hand is dry by lightly brushing it against the side of your pant leg or skirt when raising it. Your garment will absorb the excess moisture and allow for a dry, confident handshake.



It’s said that you should never judge a book by its cover. Considering that first impressions are made within 7 seconds of meeting someone, we’ll have to assume that judgment is being dished out rather often.  Parents typically seek me out because of things that are going on around the table with their children, however I begin each series of Charm events with the seven essential ingredients to make a great first impression. One of those ingredients: a proper handshake. I’ve felt quite a few handshake maladies from adults, as of late. So, I thought I’d share a few of the symptoms to look out for, as well as the common cure.

Diagnosis: Floppy Fish

Symptoms: Most often dished out by ladies, the limp posturing of the hand causes this form of handshake to feel more like grasping a dead fish than a person possessing confidence.

Diagnosis: Bone Crusher

Symptoms: A crunched knuckle handshake most often given by men, this action might elicit a look of discomfort on the face of its recipient, but always leaves an impression of aggression.

Diagnosis: The Glove (A.K.A. The Politician’s Handshake)

Symptoms: A sign of closeness, the recipient’s right hand or shoulder is cupped by the left hand of the opposite person during the handshake; a gesture reserved for a personal setting – never for business.

Treatment: A Proper Handshake

Dosage: Extending your right hand (thumb pointing up), connect the web between your index finger and thumb firmly with that of the other person’s hand. Shake, with an up and down motion, three to four times (elbow close to your body) and release. Repeat as necessary.

Do you have a healthy handshake? The best way to find out is by practicing with someone who will give an honest opinion. In this case, practice really does makes perfect, and will lead to great first impressions when interacting with people – beyond those seven seconds.

Be well,