There are certain things that you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to shaking hands and introducing yourself around the globe. If you want to make a good first impression, remember these tips the next time you meet a colleague, client or potential employer.
You may have heard that people in Germany, France and other parts of Europe shake hands while looking directly into each other’s eyes. This is no urban myth; it’s true! A firm handshake is a sign of respect, but don’t forget to make eye contact as well.
In South Africa and many countries in Asia, a handshake should be more subdued than in North America. A limp handshake is considered disrespectful, so be sure to grip firmly but gently.
In the United States and Canada, men usually wait for women to extend their hand first. In some parts of Asia, however, it’s impolite for a woman to extend her hand first — especially to a man who is older than she is or who has higher social status.
In Malaysia and elsewhere in Southeast Asia, where business partners greet each other with a handshake (and sometimes with both hands), it’s perfectly acceptable for one person to rest his or her free hand on the other person’s elbow or upper arm during the meeting.
It’s a small world—and it’s getting smaller. We’re more connected than ever before, which means we’re also interacting with people from different countries and cultures on a daily basis. So whether you’re traveling abroad or just living in the global village, here are some tips to help you make the most of your interactions with new people.
**Shake It Up**
Take a cue from our friends in the Middle East: When greeting someone you don’t know, offer your right hand and place your left hand over your heart. In most Western countries, a firm handshake with direct eye contact is the customary greeting when meeting someone for the first time. In Arab and Muslim countries, there’s less emphasis on the handshake; instead, greetings are longer and involve more elaborate gestures—such as touching your own chest (heart) before shaking hands. In China, you should shake hands only once upon meeting someone for the first time—multiple handshakes are reserved for parting ways. In Thailand, greetings can be similar to those in Western countries; however, Thais may prefer to “wai,” which is done by placing both hands together as if praying, with your head slightly bowed toward the person being greeted.
When you visit a foreign country, one of the things that you should pay attention to is the way people greet each other. While in some countries it is considered normal to kiss on the cheeks to say hello, in others it is considered offensive.
For example, in Europe and many Latin American countries, a common greeting between friends is to give each other a kiss on the cheek. However, when you’re doing business with someone from another country, then you need to be aware of how they usually greet people.
The first thing to do is shake hands. In Europe and North America this gesture is very important and conveys trust and respect for the person you are talking to.
When you meet someone from Japan or China for instance, then it’s best not to shake hands at all. Instead, bow slightly and wait for them to initiate a handshake if they want one.
In most countries, when meeting someone for the first time or just passing by them on the street, it is considered polite to smile and nod at them so they know that you acknowledge their presence. If you are going into a shop where there are customers inside then don’t forget that some shops have rules about who gets served first so make sure not always follow them blindly without thinking of others around
Handshaking is a gesture that conveys respect and sincerity. It is one of the most common greetings around the world. The handshake is a sign of good will and friendship, and it is important to be aware of its cultural nuances.
A handshake is often the first impression one leaves on another person, so it is important to get it right. In some cultures, a firm handshake, eye contact, and a smile are all positive signs.**
If someone is wearing a glove, wait for them to offer their hand.
If you’re wearing gloves, remove them before shaking hands.
When you greet someone, stand and shake their hand.
Hold the handshake for a couple of seconds.
Look the person in the eye when shaking hands.
Shake hands when arriving and departing.
If you are being introduced to a group of people, shake hands with each of them.
Greet people with a handshake first if you’re not sure what’s appropriate.
Shake hands with both women and men unless someone tells you otherwise (some women prefer not to shake hands).
When meeting someone for the first time, say “Pleased to meet you” as you shake hands.
1. Address a person with the proper title.
2. Make eye contact.
3. Offering to shake hands is a sign of respect and friendliness.
4. If you don’t want to shake hands, smile and nod.
5. A handshake should be firm but not vice-like.
6. Don’t let go first; let the other person release your hand first.
7. Once you’ve shaken a person’s hand, use that person’s name in conversation or a greeting if you meet again later on the same day or at another time in the future.