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Shaking Hands

I was at an after-work get together yesterday and the topic of handshaking came up. I expressed frustration on how most people that I have shaked hands with do not know the “right” way to shake hands! I want to help people learn a solid way of shaking hands, so read on!

Knowing the right way to shake hands will completely change how you look at it. It is the most important professional greeting in the world today, and it isn’t something that you should screw up. Many people think that their grip is what defines a good handshake, but that is just one small part.

I learned all about handshakes from the Career Tools podcast on April 16, 2006. It is a 50 minute podcast detailing the 10 steps (yes, 10 steps) on a solid professional handshake, and I really recommend people listen to it…but for those who don’t have the time, here are the steps at a high level:

  1. Make eye contact
  2. Smile
  3. Move forward
  4. Lead with left forward
  5. Keep elbow in
  6. Web to web contact (arguably the most important step)
  7. Speed up a little as the hands meet
  8. Strength of a grip is enough to hold a baseball bat
  9. Pump hand once or twice
  10. Let go after previous step, or when the other person lets go, which ever is first

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