SCORE Small Business Blog

Networking: What a Handshake Says About You

Be Firm & Make a Good Impression

A hand shake is the first thing you do when seeing someone you know or when meeting someone for the first time.  This simple gesture can go a long way in establishing a new relationship or reinforce an existing relationship.

A study done at the University of Alabama studied men’s and women’s handshakes and found that a firmer handshake scored higher on likeable traits, such as open-mindedness and intelligence than those with a limp handshake.  Plus in a University of Iowa study, female job applicants with a strong handshake were more likely to be offered a position.    When shaking someone’s hand grasp the hand completely apply medium pressure and hold it for a few seconds, make eye contact and smile, for a more friendly hand shake put your hand on top of the other person’s hand.  A handshake is a way of connecting with someone, say their name if you are meeting them for the first time or greet a person with their name and say, “it is very nice to see you”.   A handshake is a nice way to acknowledge people.

Always go out of your way to give someone a warm firm handshake whenever you can.  In today’s business world it is essential for both men and woman, as a good handshake can show self confidence and genuine interest in meeting the other person.

Betty Otte, SCORE Orange County
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