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How to shake hands in a professional manner to give the right first impression.

- hi, I’m Kimberly Law

That’s an example of a really bad handshake. What he was telling me when he did that handshake was that he’s in control and he wants to get the upper hand. That’s how it appeared to me and that’s how it felt. It was not a very comfortable handshake.

So we’re gonna talk a little bit about good introductions and proper handshakes, which is so important when you’re meeting people for the first time.

You would want to introduce yourself with your first and last name, such as "hi, I’m Kimberly Law". So get into the handshake, good, grip, web to web, make eye contact and then you would want to step back away from the person.

There are some handshakes that are really inappropriate in different kinds of situations. Sometimes, as I already demonstrated, people turn their hand on top. This says they’re trying to get the upper hand.

Others that would be inappropriate in a business situation is when you cup both of your hands around the other person’s hand. This is a very nurturing, very affectionate handshake. It would be really appropriate for friends and family but it wouldn’t be so appropriate in a business setting.

Another one that would be inappropriate when you’re meeting somebody for the first time would be if you take them by the elbow and shake hands this way. This would be kind of a typical politician’s handshake, photo opportunity handshake, but it’s not always the best to use if you’re in a business setting and want to make a good impression.

Another one which is very similar to that is when you put your hand on the person’s shoulder and shake hands like this. It’s almost like you’re, you’re saying "here I am", and it just doesn’t go very, go along very well when you’re meeting somebody for the first time.

A few others that are inappropriate in any situation, one of them is, sometimes people have a very limp handshake, people do what we call "the dead fish", which leaves the impression that the person is just very wishy-washy, not very confident, and it doesn’t leave a very good impression in any situation.

In other societies, eh, sometimes what they do is they would take and shake hands just with the finger tips. You need to be aware that not every culture is the same and don’t be offended if somebody does shake hands with you this way. But here, in western society, we like a good and firm grip, two or three pumps, web to web, is considered to be a really good handshake.

Another handshake that isn’t appropriate in any situation is a really aggressive handshake. Now, you know, you can really hurt somebody’s hand by doing that, and it’s really important to take into consideration the strength of the other person. I know some men tend to think when they’re shaking hands with another man that they have to show how strong they are, and a good firm handshake is really important, but do take into consideration that we’re all different and a good firm handshake for one person might not be the same for another person.

So just a very good, solid, firm handshake, web to web, two to three pumps, smile, greet the person and say "hello".
Ha, ha, ha. No, that’s good.

PRO= professional (coll.)

A HANDSHAKE= the action of shaking your hand with another person as a greeting (to say hello). That is when you take each other’s hands and shake it a few times. We call that "to shake hands".

UPPER= superior, on a higher level.

THE UPPER HAND= the control.

GONNA= going to.

GRIP= a firm, strong hold on something.

WEB= it is usually the kind of structure a spider builds, but it may also mean (as here) the edge of skin that runs between the point finger and the thumb.

WEB-TO-WEB= when you hold hands together so that the web of your right hand gets in close contact with the web of the other person’s hand.

MAKE EYE CONTACT= look at the other person’s eyes.

INAPPROPRIATE= not correct, not suitable.

NURTURING= caring, loving and protective, like the way parents behave with their children.

A BUSINESS SETTING= a business situation.

ELBOW= the part in the middle of your arm where it bends.

LIMP= soft, without strength (not strong).

WISHY-WASHY= dull, without clear or strong ideas or beliefs, unsure, undetermined, unconfident.

FINGER TIP= the end of your finger, where your nails are.

WESTERN SOCIETY= the society of countries with a European culture (Europe, America, Australia, etc.)

A PUMP= here it means "a shake", the strong movement you make (up and down) when you shake hands.

HURT= cause pain.


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