Have you ever stopped to think about the practice of shaking hands with people we meet in business functions and meetings? Why do we do it? Does it still make sense in this day and age? And do the rules about the proper protocol for how to shake hands still hold or should they be revised with time and progress in our society? Do other societies and cultural groups also use this practice and do the same norms apply there (as my friend Marina Kraus asked me)? My colleague Larry Straining added: “Is there an appropriate order (or hierarchy) for shaking hands in a group. Right to left? Ladies first? Age? Position?”
In this three-part series on handshaking, I will attempt to answer some of the questions that abound about the practice of handshaking in business. In Part 1, we’ll review why we shake hands in the first place, what your handshake says about you, and consider whether we should keep shaking hands or quit this practice altogether. In Part 2, we’ll explore whether handshaking is culture-specific or universal. And in Part 3, we’ll examine what other options we have and a list of Do’s and Don’ts to help us all practice proper handshaking protocol (say that three times fast ;) ).
Read Part 3 now...Read More