Business Handshakes

When was the last time you left a business meeting feeling good about the encounter? Probably never, at least not very often.

Too many times, your potential client or customer will greet you with a handshake that feels more like they are trying to take control of the conversation. They might even be overly friendly, which is definitely not needed when you’ve got work to do!

Business handshakes don’t have to be a struggle, though. In this article we will discuss some ways to give and get professional handshakes that make people feel comfortable and able to form an attachment to your company.

But first, let us look at why business handshakes matter.

Why Should I Care About Business Handshakes?

To start off, it should go without saying that having great business handses is a beautiful thing. A pleasant interaction sets a positive tone for the rest of your day, and creates a sense of ease and confidence in the other person. This benefits both you and the other party involved.

At the same time, poor interpersonal skills can hurt your career. Negative interactions may scare away future clients or customers. Worse yet, bad social etiquette could cost you money through negative word-of-mouth or lawsuits.

This article will focus mostly on how to give excellent business handshakes, but also include information on how to receive them if you find that difficult.

When should you shake a business owner’s hand?

business handshakes

Shaking hands is one of the most basic, non-verbal ways to connect with people. It doesn’t matter if you are meeting for the first time or having a conversation about something serious, when someone else comes across as friendly, professional, and relaxed, your self-confidence will be boosted.

When it comes to business meetings, keeping things formal with handshake greetings isn’t very effective. Instead, use casual good manners and have a brief business chat before exchanging salutes.

Avoid overdoing it though – too many touches can seem overly familiar or even creepy.

When should you shake a manager’s hand?

business handshakes

Shaking someone’s hands is one of the most basic, fundamental ways to be professional. But there are some rules about when it’s appropriate to do so.

First, only shake someone’s hand if you have been invited to do so. Sending your own invitation doesn’t give you license to invade their personal space.

Second, don’t overdo it. A light handshake is best – just long enough for both people to feel comfortable.

Third, never put your hand in another person’s pocket or grab their bag handle. If you must take something out, ask permission first and then pull it out.

When should you shake an employee’s hand?

business handshakes

Shaking hands is one of the greatest gestures for business professionals to do, according to some studies.

Shaking someone’s hand is a universal way to be welcomed into their circle of friends or colleagues. It is also a custom that most people learn when they are young, so it is not necessarily natural for everyone.

But like any other customs, there are rules about how to do it correctly. If we look at the etiquette books, we will see that there are two schools of thought on what kind of hand shape is needed and if the handshake needs to be short and light-weighted.

Since leadership is more than just being in command of your department, it can mean extended greetings with people outside of work, such as at reunions or events. Therefore, knowing the correct formal business etiquette is very important.

Popular business handshake tips

Many people have their own personal business greetings and routines they use to shake hands with other professionals or friends. Some of these are very formal, while others are more casual. What is typically accepted as a good business greeting is having your hand extended and looking each person in the eye when you greet them.

That’s just how most people do it anyway! Mixing things up can help break down barriers and establish some new relationships. When introducing yourself to someone for the first time, try to make the conversation longer than just your name and job title. Ask about their day and what they were doing before meeting you.

This way you don’t come across as “pigeon-toed and nervous.” More professional and interesting! — Jennifer Moseley, Career Coach at The Biz Huddle

It’s impossible to know if a stranger will become close friend or business partner, but by mixing up your routine, you increase your chances. And we all need lots of opportunities to connect and build friendships. – Sarah Stankiewicz, Workplace Relationships Expert and Author of Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Can you imagine not being able to greet every colleague with an open palm? That would be pretty weird, right? Luckily, there's another easy business handshake trick that doesn't require you to take anyone's hand quite yet.

When should you shake a customer’s hand?

business handshakes

It all depends on what kind of business you are in and how close your customers are to you, but there is one universal rule when it comes to shaking hands.

You shouldn’t ever shake another person’s hand if you don’t have their permission. This isn’t only rude, it can also hurt their feelings as well.

So, before you reach out to grab someone’s hand, make sure they gave you theirs first!

If you work for a company, then asking if anyone has been given yours would be appropriate. But if you're an individual business owner, then checking with them whether or not they'd like you to handshake them personally is even better.

How should you greet a business owner?

business handshakes

When you meet someone for the first time, it is normal to make small talk about casual things such as what they do, who they know, etc. But when an acquaintance meets someone new, she or he may go beyond that by asking how their day is going or if there’s anything they can help them with.

If this happens, then it’s only fair that person gets asked back!

The same goes for meeting someone for the first time at a bar or restaurant. If something interesting is happening, people tend to stick around longer than usual, so why not use that to your advantage and keep talking?

But what if the other person doesn’t seem very interested in engaging in conversation? That could be because they’ve had a lot of conversations already and are starting to get tired of it. Or maybe they just don’t like you and wouldn’t want to spend time with you even if they were paid for it.

How should you greet a manager?

business handshakes

When meeting someone for the first time, it is important to establish good business etiquette. If you are trying to impress them, using poor etiquette can backfire and make you look unprofessional.

Greet with your name, either at the beginning of the handshake or after they have said their name. Don’t overdo it though – one quick shake will be enough!

If the person you want to meet with looks very busy, then ask if there is anyone else they would like to meet. This way, they get a chance to say yes or no without being too pressed about timing.

When letting go, keep a steady hand and don’t overstress the handshake. A light touch is ideal as well. Avoid pumping hands too much and instead just lightly push away when done.

How should you greet an employee?

business handshakes

When someone gets into work, they deserve a good greeting! A handshake is the classic way to do this. But there are some who feel that extended hand shakes can be stereotyped as something formal or even aggressive.

Others believe that short, tight hand shakings are more intimate and friendly. What’s best for your workplace depends on what kind of culture you want to have and on whom in the company you need to impress.

This article will talk about various ways to greet people and which ones are appropriate for different situations.

About The Author

Tiara Ogabang
Tiara Joan Ogabang is a talented content writer and marketing expert, currently working for the innovative company With a passion for writing and a keen eye for detail, Tiara has quickly become an integral part of the team, helping to drive engagement and build brand awareness through her creative and engaging content.
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