For some people, a handshake at the end of an interview, meeting, or other business interaction is simply an act of courtesy.  Just a “talk to you later,” or “nice to meet ya.”  Or even just a force of habit.  However, what some people don’t know is that a handshake can mean so much more than that.  Did you know that your handshake can formulate your entire first impression on someone?  That it can give away your drive, personality, and potential in the work place?  That it can let the person on the other side of the grip know if you are going to be aggressive and dominating in the work place, or even if you are unsure of yourself as a person?Instead of scolding your paw for giving you away, do yourself a favor and start being cognizant of your handshake.  It’s not even a bad idea to throw a few practice shakes in before your big interview.  Don’t let a “limp noodle” handshake cost you your dream job!  Read below for some tips from a Small Business article on the importance of strong handshakes.  Let the hand workouts with stress balls commence.

The optimal business handshake strikes a balance between a forceful grip and a limp noodle. The extended hand should fully engage with the other person’s hand for the most impact. Weak handshakes that only grip fingertips may make a negative impression on a new business contact, co-worker or customer. Likewise, a vice-grip-style handshake presents an overly aggressive stance. How you shake hands provides subtle nonverbal cues about your personality, business style and negotiating techniques.

First Impression

You never get a second chance at a first impression in business. A strong handshake sets the tone and the perception of your abilities. Impart a strong first impression on customers, business prospects, hiring managers or new employees by offering your hand and looking them in the eye when offering a greeting or introducing yourself. This type of introduction bolsters your image and sets a solid foundation for a new job or business relationship.


A firm, strong handshake transmits your underlying confidence in yourself and your abilities. When individuals feel your confidence, it helps instill trust in your words and work abilities. Working from a foundation of trust is important to advance sales opportunities, gain employment, attract competent employees and obtain business partners.


You can take the upper hand at negotiations by confirming your strength through your handshake. A strong grip and a penetrating eye gaze set the tone for hard-line negotiations. You also signal your willingness to compromise or reach a mutually beneficial agreement through a strong yet warm handshake. Setting the negotiating tone with your first interactions help you obtain the best deal for yourself, your client or your business with your first interactions.


Literally, a handshake offers a personal connection with another person. Even in impersonal situations, a strong handshake helps convey your personality and intentions to another person. For example, you can express empathy by shaking hands and placing your opposite hand on a shoulder or on the opposite side of an extended hand. These little touches allow you to show your empathy in a dignified and professional manner. Showing empathy may be needed with professional contacts going through a difficult personal situation


A strong handshake may help you land a job, gain a promotion or score a lucrative client. The right touch allows you to indicate your self-motivation, desire to achieve and assertiveness. These assets translate well to most workplaces. Subtly presenting your assets through nonverbal cues helps support claims on your resume, your business accomplishments and conversations.