Shaking Hands: Please, No More Dead Fish!


I attend a lot of business and social events, and meet a lot of people.  I am amazed at how differently people will shake my hand. Some people come across as confident or down-to-earth. They show a certain amount of warmth in their handshakes. But there are other handshakes that are just terrible, and really undermine the person’s credibility. Let’s take a look at some I regularly encounter:

1. The Dead Fish. No explanation needed. This may be the worst of the lot.

2. The Vise Grip. Uh-oh. Virility issues.

3. The Pump. Up and down, and up and down. Yikes! Let go!

4. The Two-fister. They’re not happy with using just one of their hands. They wrap both of their hands around your hand. Look out. Major control-needs are on display here. Check to make sure you still have your watch.

5. The Two-fister – variation. They shake your hand with their right hand, and grasp your forearm with their left. Serious control issues are lurking here.

6. The Dainty Fingers. Instead of wrapping their hand around yours, they wrap around your fingers. Very 17th century France.

So, you want a firm, but not overbearing handshake. Shake their entire hand, not just their fingers. And, be sure to make eye contact when shaking hands.  Let them look into your eyes to see your sincerity and confidence.


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