Thursday, August 7, 2014

Proper Business Etiquette for Handshakes

A good handshake with proper business etiquette is the first attempt to make an indelible professional impact. It plays an important role in influencing an important business decision whether you’re about to strike a big deal or get a new job.

Hence, proper grip & hand position are vital handshake etiquettes along with a proper posture of your body. Read on to get some valuable business etiquette tips to give a proper handshake.

Types of handshakes to avoid during business negotiations-

Dead Fish Handshake

This is considered as a limp handshake and can be detrimental during any kind of business deals or business negotiations. It shows that the person lacks energy and enthusiasm. It gives other person the feeling of holding a dead fish rather than a person's hand. This depicts low-self esteem and no confidence at all.

The Southpaw

The other name for the Southpaw is the Lefty. This type of handshake is a strict no-no unless your right hand has been injured.
Giving a handshake with the left hand is considered uncouth in business situations. It gives an expression of disrespect in many countries.
The Denominator

This type of handshake involves the use of a downward turned palm where the person with an intention or not turns the wrist of the other person downwards. It literally says, "I am more powerful than you."

The problem with this type of handshake is that even if the person has an innocuous intention, the other person can get offended. This can affect your business deal negatively.

Hence, while you offer a handshake make sure you don’t twist the other person’s hand downwards!

Further you can learn the type of handshakes which are suitable for any type of business situations.

The types of handshakes considered perfect in the business world are-

The Appropriate Handshake

  •         Maintain a pleasant eye contact with the other person. Don't look below at the hand while you offer a shake.
  •         Give a pleasant expression-it shouldn't be stiff or show over-eagerness
  •         Close your fingers around other person's hand. Your thumb should rest to the side. Grip with a slight firm giving gentle pumps (usually two) as you raise the hand slightly up & down for a shake.
  •          Release the hand after 3-4 seconds
The Body Posture-
Stand firm and extend the right hand straight out towards the front of your body. Give a slight bent to your elbow with your thumb pointing towards the ceiling. Lean forward slightly if there's space. However, don't lean so much that your faces are uncomfortable close!

This type of handshake is considered perfect across many countries and during any kind of business situation.

The Shug

The Shug is also known as “Half shake-half hug”. This type of handshake is considered incredibly versatile and flexible. It conveys the person's masculinity with an essence of affection and openness. It's a reserved kind of handshake but truly expressive in a comfortable manner.

This type of handshake is generally good when meeting your professional colleagues and clients. However, judge whether the other person is comfortable doing it or not. If you have any slight doubts then it's better to go with the Appropriate Handshake which is convenient in all business situations.

If you want to learn more such effective business etiquette tips then register for our expert seminar on “Effective Business Etiquettes”. You can browse through the details of the seminar on IAM’s website here.


  1. This is a brilliant article. Thanks!

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