Catch up : Why a handshake is so important

handshake first impression

I grew up in the 80's. Now I know that's not that long ago, but I had parents that held on to those "old school" values and morals from the baby boomer generation. My Father was one of eleven brothers and sisters born and raised on a farm. Every morning before school he had a laundry list of chores to do before he had to catch the bus to school. For a period of his life he even slept in a make-shift room in the barn with bed sheets strung out over hay. Compared to today's society and what we as a nation expect in life, my father had a rough childhood, but if you talked to him, he would disagree and tell you it was the best childhood one could have. My father learned at an early age what it meant to have ownership in responsibility, respectfulness, and manners.

One night as a kid, at the age of 9, my father and I were working on a piece of heavy machinery he had bought to clear our property of tree's and brush for a spot to put a house on. I remember looking up at him and just asking "Dad can I try and shake your hand". I asked this because I had seen him shake so many other people's hands. It seemed like everywhere we went he was shaking hands with somebody. So, Naturally, I thought to myself that "this is what grown ups do. They shake hands". Without a question he stuck out his hand and said, "Well, put'er there". My dads hands were rough. Calluses covered the palms and finger tips from years of logging and wrenching on equipment. I reached my hand out to meet with his, and what I remember most about this was the amount of pressure, along with the popping of my fingers, when he gripped my hand. This began a small, but important, life lesson for me.

My father told me that you can learn a lot about a man by his handshake. That a good firm handshake shows respect, confidence, and seriousness. He even gave me instructions on the proper handshake. He explained that when shaking anothers hand you A) Look them in the eye, B) Stand straight, and C) Shake hand with a firm grip.

History Of The Handshake

This custom started in medieval times. The world was an unsavory place back then, and people often concealed weapons in their hands. The handshake was a way of affirming that neither you nor the person you were greeting was carrying anything intended to harm. Over time, it evolved into a polite greeting.

4 Handshake Tips

1. Make eye contact and smile: If you want to make a good impression when you are shaking hands, you also need to connect with the person through the eyes and the smile.

2. Shake with one hand only: When you add another hand, it appears fake. This has been called the "politicians handshake". To convey confidence and build trust, shake with one hand only.

3. Don't give a weak handshake: If your handshake is weak or limp, you will be perceived as lacking confidence or as being introverted which is not a positive quality to display in a job interview in the United States. If you are not sure how firmly to shake, remember that the strength of your handshake should match the other person's strength.

4. Always shake hands before and after the meeting or interview: Most American people will expect to shake hands at the beginning and at the end of a formal business gathering.