Far Out Friday: What does your handshake say about you?

Far Out Friday: What does your handshake say about you? | Insurance Business

Far Out Friday: What does your handshake say about you?

Handshakes go a long way in helping brokers make a lasting impression on crucial new clients – a good one that is – so it’s important to get it right and not leave you potential client running for the hills with a crushed hand or sweaty palm.

Experts describe the handshake as the ‘ultimate greeting’. If done well, it reflects confidence, sincerity and authority.  If not, it can reveal nerves, anxiety or even arrogance.

The best handshakes last two to three seconds, and should be a firm and strong grip but not too strong. But equally, it shouldn’t leave the receiver reaching for the nearest bottle of hand sanitizer.

Make sure you’re not doling out one of these gawky grips to customers.

The dominator

When you place your palm downward when offering you your hand to someone it is a show of dominance. Experts say you are forcing the other person to place his palm upwards and into a submissive position. If you’re on the receiving end of the dominator, take a step to your left to straighten out the handshake.

The bone crusher

This is self-explanatory. It’s painful and uncomfortable for the other person. An ideal grip should be no harder than the strength you use on a door handle.

The dead fish shake

This limp handshake is a tell-tale sign that you’re nervous, uncertain or uninvolved.

Just fingers

Worse than the dead fish handshake, is shaking the other person’s fingers but there’s a way to get around that: make sure the webbed part between your forefinger and thumb is touching before you shake the other person’s hand.

Cold, clammy, sweaty

This happens when you’re nervous. It happens to the best of us but you can mitigate the risks by carrying a paper towel with you to wipe your sweaty palms discreetly, and avoid carrying a cold drink. If your hands are cold, warm them up.

The double-hander

This handshake is reserved for clergy, politicians and people you know well other than that, avoid it at all costs. Apparently, it can do your credibility more harm than good.  

The long handshake

The ideal handshake should last 2 to 3 seconds and no longer otherwise it can seem like you are just holding hands.

The Miss

You go in for a handshake but somehow it just doesn’t happen. It feels awkward and clumsy but you’re not alone. The other person is feeling the exact same way. It happens.

Too close

This happens when the other person comes into too close to shake your hand. Don’t worry, if it’s not a long handshake, the painful awkwardness should last no longer than three seconds.


While this light-hearted look at handshakes isn’t the bible of first impressions, a good, firm handshake can go a long way to building bridges with new clients.


Source: About.com