the humble handshake

Yes, it’s a slightly random topic for today, but stay with me.

handshake isolated on business background

Over the years I’ve shaken a lot of hands with people. It’s something of a necessity of business life, along with meetings and emails. It’s often been said that you can tell a lot about a person by their handshake, and I reckon there’s more than a grain of truth in that.

An odd thing that it’s often hard to tell what kind of handshake you’re likely to get – I’ve had the wettest, limpest, most dreary handshakes from big burly corporate pin-striped gents, and solid, firm no-nonsense handshakes from others.

I’ve also interviewed a lot of people over the years, and the initial handshake really does put a colour on the discussion following it. If you go in with a floppy, nervous and, dare I say it, moist handshake, you’ll have significantly more work to do to convince me that you’re the person for the job.

I’ve come to the conclusion that there are six different types of handshake:

  1. The Standard – nice, firm grip, dry hands, eye contact, in, shake, out. Happy days.
  2. The Limp Fish – flippy floppy handshake, usually letting you grip only the fingers. Occasionally moist, distinctly meh. You get the distinct impression that their hand would fall off if you shook it too hard. Leaves you wanting to find something to wipe your hand on.
  3. The Robocop – I WILL CRUSH YOUR TINY HAND WITH MY ROBO-STRENGTH, PUNY HUMAN. Give it a rest. It’s not big, and it’s not clever. You’re over-compensating for something, and no, I don’t want to know what it is.
  4. The Two-In-One – handshake/shoulder-slap – save this one for your mates, not your interviewer. Tend to pull you in close for the handshake, then use the other hand to whack you on the shoulder in an oh-so-friendly style. Hmm. If you’re going to do that, you’d best be about to offer me a pint. Or tell me I’ve won the lottery.
  5. The Rick Astley, aka the ‘Never Gonna Give You Up‘. The handshake that goes on too long. Handshake first, then conversation.
  6. The Tigger. Shaking hands too vigoroulsy. Seriously, dude, I drink a lot of coffee. You, on the other hand, need to cut down before you do yourself an injury.

So, dear reader. What kind of handshake do *you* have? Have I missed any?

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

4 thoughts on “the humble handshake”

  1. We were ‘taught’ how to deliver a good hand shake at school. At prize giving we had to return the head master’s hand shake with a good firm response. One year he was sick so the wet lettuce of a head mistress stood in for him. I’m sure she didn’t know what had hit her with all the powerful firm handshakes given by all us girls. Her’s in comparison was completely limp. She looked quite worn out by the end of it all.

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