“When did women start shaking hands? It feels awkward.”
A very bright, talented, professional woman asked me that question. Initially, I was startled. Yet, as I thought about the question, I realized that many women in my seminars are reluctant to shake hands, and others do so incorrectly.
In today’s workplace, shaking hands is not for men only. The handshake is the business greeting: Both men and women need to shake hands, and to do so correctly.
One woman told me she got her job because she shook hands at the beginning of the interview and again at the end. The manager told the woman that he chose her because she handled herself so professionally. Another woman realized that she had been the only one at her table who stood when she shook hands with her CEO. As a result, she had a conversation with him; the other individuals did not.
Why do women sometimes feel uncomfortable about shaking hands? The reasons vary:
1. Some women were never taught to shake hands. It is not that these women were told not to do so, it is that they were not taught to do so. One woman in an etiquette class was shocked when she realized that she was not teaching her four-year-old daughter to shake hands, but she had already started teaching her two-year-old son to shake hands.
2. Women bring the personal greeting of kissing friends on the cheek into the workplace. This can be awkward, since you will not want to kiss or hug everyone you meet at work, nor will everyone be comfortable with that greeting.
3. Many women were taught that they did not need to stand when shaking hands. Before each of my seminars, I walk around the room to introduce myself to my participants and extend my hand in a greeting. Approximately 70 to 75 percent of men, but only 30 to 35 percent of women, stand to shake my hand. You establish your presence when you stand. Both men and women should stand when shaking hands.
You will be judged by your handshake. Be honest: What do you think if someone gives you a limp handshake? Yes, you tend to think of that person as weak and unimpressive.
To shake hands properly:
- Extend your hand with the thumb up.
- Touch thumb joint to thumb joint with the person you are greeting. Put your thumb down, and wrap your fingers around the palm of the other person.
- Make sure your grip is firm, but don’t break any bones – it’s not a competition.
- Don’t over-pump. Two to three pumps is enough. Face the person, and make eye contact.
And one more thing: It used to be that men needed to wait for a woman to extend her hand. Not anymore. The new guideline is to give the higher-ranking person a split second to extend his or her hand, and if he or she does not, you extend yours. The key is that the handshake needs to take place.
Is Life a Game of Chess or Poker?
Weapon Sales Across the Globe Drive Safety and Security Theme
How to Sharpen Your Social Skills with Two Distinct Listening Styles
How to Find Your Authentic Voice
A Smile Is Vital to Your Message
Myth Busting the Settlement Industry
Advisors: Consider These Inexpensive Holiday Gift Ideas for Clients
7 Steps To Hire Great Team Members
An Acronym You Should Remember When Leading Change
India’s Booming Economy Expected to Firm Up Gold Demand
Investments20 hours ago
Global Equity Views 4Q 2018
Development20 hours ago
How To Deliver Value During Prospect Engagement
Financial Podcasts21 hours ago
How to Merge a CPA Firm With a Wealth Management Firm
Learn2 days ago
Millennials and Responsible Investing: Bridging the Generation Gap
Social Selling2 days ago
Is Spending Piles of Money on Marketing Just a Waste?
Building Smarter Portfolios2 days ago
Understanding Hedge Fund Replication
Insights3 days ago
Leaders: How Your Audacious Goal Can Actually Hurt People
Development3 days ago
Discouraged? Remember Why You Got in This Business