Is your handshake letting you down?

 In Author, Body language, Delivery, Feedback, Learning from Luminaries, Media, News, The Winning Voice

“Body language – as well as gesture – can play and important part (in people liking us in a first meeting) but the science also shows that there is something uniquely psychologically comforting about the handshake.”

This quote is from an excellent book, The Handshake by Ella A-Shamahi.

Do you have an above average or below average handshake?**

I am a noticer of handshakes and I don’t get many that impress me.

The above passage from the book continues below . . .

“Researchers Florin and Sanda Dolcos at the Neuroscience Lab at the University of Illinois … found that starting a social interaction with a handhshake not only makes a ‘favourable interaction’ more likely, ‘it also diminished the impact of a negative impression.

… by tracking activity in the nucleus accumbens, a reward-processing region of the brain, the researchers saw greater activity in the region when a handshake occurred.”

Here’s are four general guidelines on a good handshake:

  • Have a relaxed hand.
  • With that relaxed hand make sure you fully clasp the other person’s hand (not just grasp the fingers) and then grip the person hand in a firm (but not to firm) way.
  • Shake, in an unrushed manner for a couple of pumps while maintaining eye contact.
  • Smoothly release your hand.

When shaking hands with woman I still keep my shake firm but lessen the firmness by a notch or two, as compared to shaking hands with men.

(** Since COVID some of you may never shake hands again and of course that is fine).

Own the conversation

Here’s what I recommend if handshaking is part of your daily work:

  1. For the next seven days just notice/become aware of one of the above four factors about your handshake and about other people’s handshake. That is, what was the level of relaxation in the grip?; Was the handshaking rushed?; Were only the fingers grasp?
  2. After the seven days, in safe interaction, on purpose improve one aspect of your handshake.


p.s. I am always impressed by business people who project a significant amount of energy when they interact with me. Add great customer service to that energy and you’ve won me over for life . . . well maybe not for life . . . maybe half of the rest of my life…

Anyway, I met such a person, one who project bundles of energy and delivers great customer service. His name is Danny Karouz. I recommend that if you need repair of your mobile phone or need mobile phone accessories, and live or work in the North Sydney area that you visit Danny’s business ## at:

Sydney Repair Centre, Shop 20, MLC Building, 105 Miller Street, North Sydney, danny@sydneyrepaircentre.com.au    0411 251 351

(## I am getting no kick back/referral fee from recommending Danny.)

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

Subscribe to Behind the Voice

Regular insights, guidance and commentary on how communication influences business and the world around us

Thank you for subscribing