Handshaking : Protocol Consultants International

Judith Bowman Enterprises
Protocol Consultants International
Judith Bowman, President and Founder

Professional Presence, Corporate Training and Development
Consulting and Protocol Certification


©2002-Present Protocol Consultants International

Contact Judith Bowman

"How to Stand Apart ™... Interviewing!"
Protocol Training at Home
Sign up for our FREE newsletter to receive useful Business Protocol thought notes and tips.


by Judith Bowman on 01/19/15

Important information is conveyed and critical first impressions are made shaking hands. Handshaking is the most common form of greeting in the world today.

Origin: Think - kings and castles - whenever two knights would approach each other on horseback they would hold up their right arm as a gesture of peace and thus evolved the art of Handshaking as we know it today.

Some common handshakes and their conventional significance:

Fingertip Holder - prefers to keep others at a distance.

Bone-Crusher – betrays anxiety.

Political Handshake – (Hand over forearm) – not considered the most professional handshake; used with those you know well.

Sympathy Shake - “I am sorry for your loss.”

On-and-On – “Help!... where do I go from here?”

Dominant –(Ladies – do not enable this handshake!) Swing their right hand upright to the vertical position and with a gentle, yet firm squeeze, make good eye contact to be “well met.”

The “Clammy Handshake!” –the “kiss of death!” - betrays anxiety.

The Correct Handshake

Shake hands like you mean it, like you want to be positively remembered.

Connect “V” to “V” (thumb and index fingers) of our right hand with the “V” of the other person’s right hand. Pump one to two times; make eye contact.

*The Number One Rule regarding shaking hands: whenever you shake hands, always STAND as a sign of respect.

In different parts of the world there are different types of handshakes. It is appropriate and gracious to greet others in the form of cultural greeting to which they are accustomed.


- Shake hands with sun glasses/gloves on or even desks (barriers!) You want nothing to interfere with forging the relationship.

- ignore persons with an illness or disability. A disabled individual will usually offer you their left hand in reverse.

*Consider looking at the other person for one to two extra seconds (not 8 or 10!) as you shake hands. President Clinton is renowned for this and in so doing, makes others feel acknowledged, special.

Be at the ready for whatever type of handshake is offered. Keep a sparkle in your eye, beam your infectious smile and make those you meet feel acknowledged and you will “be a person well-met.” You will be remembered and stand apart in all positive ways.

No one is ever too old or too young to start shaking hands, and fabulous professionals should lead by example.

Comments (0)

Leave a comment

Tel: 508-888-7800   E-mail: Judith Bowman
Train to be a Certified Protocol Consultant

Tap into the rich, fast-growing Protocol Industry and become a Protocol Consultant or In-House Protocol Trainer. We offer our established Professional Presence 
and corporate training development programs that have a track record of 20+ years with Fortune 500 firms and executives at all levels. 

Benefit from coaching, individual guidance, and one-on-one personalized attention in a controlled, completely customized business model to provide Protocol Certification.

>Click here to learn more
Help Children Grow into Their Suits