Everyone has heard of the phrase, “a picture speaks 1,000 words.” However, what people may be unaware of is the idea that a handshake does as well.
A handshake is the unspoken word that initiates a conversation in almost any social or professional get-together. This form of introduction can make or break the tone of your environment. According to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, everyone should pay close attention to their handshake. People are making judgments and basing their initial opinions of you off of this small, but formidable gesture.
The goal here is to make this quick and easy gesture your best friend and secret weapon. However, first, you must discover what the handshake that you currently have reveals about you, your personality and the first impression that you give off.
Like the tale of Goldilocks, a great handshake is not too firm, not too limp, but just right. Let’s find out if your handshake is a deal maker or deal breaker.
1. The Limp Noodle: If your handshake can be mistaken as a light grace, you might be exposing a weak inner-being. In fact, many employers and business associates will see this as a sign that you lack confidence and ability in what you do. If you’re trying to be “gentle” with a female colleague, think again. Female professionals will appreciate and respect you for treating them just as you would a male counterpart.
2. The Bone Crusher: On the opposite end of the spectrum, don’t go in for the handshake with too much power up your sleeve. People will instantly wonder what you’re trying to overcompensate for and likely dismiss you immediately.
3. The Fancy Fool: While it’s become a trend to make the handshake “hip” by getting creative and trying new things (like the fist bump), this shows signs of immaturity and a complete lack of awareness. Save this one for your frat brothers and family only.
4. The Lingerer: You’ve reached out with a good, firm grip, but forgot to let go. By lingering and holding on too long, you’re telling the other party that you’re desperate. Live by the “two second rule” and let go before it’s too late.
5. The Rusher: How does it make you feel when you speak to someone and they completely brush you off? That is very comparable to an abruptly short handshake. It is not only rude, but will evoke the sense that you don’t care and do not have time for this person.
6. The Look Away: A good handshake doesn’t stop with the hand, make sure you’re making eye contact and smiling. If you are someone who lacks in this area, you may be revealing a sense of insecurity, shyness and suspiciousness to future friends or employers.
7. The Perfect Handshake: Finally, the right way to shake someone’s hand. Remember to:
- Keep good posture
- Make eye contact
- Hold your right hand out
- Give a good firm shake
- Follow the two second rule
- Greet the other person and repeat their name
With this, you’re giving friends and colleagues the idea that you are trustworthy, warm spirited, confident, driven and prepared. This should be your go-to handshake in order to consistently create a positive first impression. So congrats, my friend–you may have 99 problems, but your handshake isn’t one!
This article was written by Jennifer Cohen from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.