Dear Ms Corporate Manners,
Is it proper for a woman to have a terribly strong handshake? I recently met someone and we shook hands. Boy, did I regret that as soon as it happened. She squeezed my hand so hard that it still hurt even after she left. A few other women in my area met her as well and experienced the same thing. Should I have addressed my concern with the “new friend” or just let it go?
Ouch! Nice to meet you
Some women have weak handshakes, and maybe she accidentally over-compensated, so I would “let it go.” I teach an entire class on how to shake hands because people judge us by our handshakes, and we unconsciously judge others by their handshakes.
Here are seven things to remember when you shake hands:
- The person who extends a hand first has the advantage of taking the initiative and establishing control.
- Since you need to leave your right hand free for the shake, in a social situation, it’s a good idea to hold your beverage in your left hand to avoid shaking with a cold right hand.
- Stand up straight, smile, and make friendly, direct eye contact.
- Extend your hand with the thumb up and fingers out. Meet the person’s grip web-to-web.
- Shake from the elbow, not the wrist or shoulder.
- Shake hands crisply, firmly, with two smooth pumps before releasing the hand.
- Remember to make sure every meeting, business or social, begins and ends with a handshake.
Ms. Corporate Manners
© Penny Aviotti and Ms.Corporate Manners 2003 – 2013.