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Perfect Your Business Handshake

Perfect Your Business Handshake

Beverly West | Monster Contributing Writer

September 08, 2008

Shake Palm to Palm: Make sure you shake palm to palm, and keep your hand perpendicular to the ground. An upturned palm may subconsciously signal submissiveness — a downward palm, dominance, say the Posts. And while grasping the top of the person’s hand with your other hand while shaking can often be a signal of warmth and affection, the Posts caution that this forward of a greeting might seem presumptuous or insincere when used in a first meeting.

Mind Your Audience: Be observant, and follow the cues of those around you, says Casperson. Respond with pressure that meets the pressure you receive. Don’t try to overpower the other person if their grasp is more timid. And be aware that different social boundaries prevail in different cultures. In North America and Europe, a firm handshake is an appropriate form of greeting, the Posts say. In Asia and the Middle East, where handshaking is still relatively new, the grip is gentler; a too-hearty grip could be interpreted as aggressive.

Know When to Let Go: The ideal handshake lasts approximately three seconds. The hands can be gently pumped once or twice, and then it’s time to pull back your hand, even if you are still conversing.

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