I. hate. dead. fish. handshakes.
I remember vividly the first time I was motivated to shake someone's hand. I was about 16 years old and I was meeting a woman whose children I was going to babysit that evening. When she greeted me at the front door, I threw out my right hand, ready to introduce myself in the traditional manner.
Her face showed surprise in discovering my firm handshake. I blushed because it was truly the first time I shook a hand without my parents' prompting.
I had shaken hands many times before. I remember meeting executives who worked with my father, it was an industry made up of mostly men in nice suits or sport coats. They all were typically the same. They'd lean over in my direction, shower me with big grins and then shove out their hands, waiting for me to reciprocate.
My tiny hand would timidly limp out, not sure of the technique of this ritual.
Over time, I'd play along with this little game, gently offering my hand with smiles and giggles, knowing they were getting a kick out of this charade.
Years passed, and the handshaking ritual was pretty much lost on me. My friends and I greeted each other with high-fives, friendly waves or hugs, but rarely a handshake. Even in high school, any handshake was embellished with fancy hand gestures and "secret" moves establishing an inside joke.
I recall one classmate who did greet people with the a "real" handshake enjoyed by adults around the world, and I remember thinking that was a little bit odd.
College came, and with it - independence & responsibility. I began relying on the 'ol handshake for more formal ventures - meeting with professors and parents of friends.
And we cannot forget the interviews. The hand shake is the first greeting that shows your potential employer your strength. Do you offer a dead fish? Do you tilt your hand down and shake like a lady? Are you a bone crusher?
Over the years, I have perfected my perfect grip. It's a full on, finger tips-on-the-other-person's-wrist, clinch. My technique is disarming when a
This being said . . . . . I absolutely HATE it when I encounter someone who offers a less than substantial hand. Women whose handshakes are soft, disappoint me. Men who adjust their handshakes to accommodate my female form are embarrassing and patronizing.
e v e n
These days, I am now the crazy lady who, at times, bends down to a child's level and thrusts out my big, soft palm. Most children stare at my hand, a bit confused about its intentions.
After some prodding by mom or dad, the weary child's hand creeps out and briefly comes in contact with mine. Sometimes I feel like saying, Hey kid. I think it's kinda weird, too.
I'm just trying to prepare the business world for a new mover and shaker - one hand at a time.
What's your "shake it" style?