1. Keep between three to four feet (or 1 to 1.25 meters) between you and the person you will be shaking hands with. Don’t get too close and invade the other person’s personal space.
- Stand with proper posture.
- If seated, etiquette requires you stand up to shake hands.
2. Offer your right hand by extending it toward the other person. Extend your hand halfway to the other person with your right thumb pointed upwards and your four fingers pressed together. Lean slightly toward the other person and make eye contact.
- Offer your left hand if the other person’s hand appears injured.
3. Grab the other person’s hand. Grasp the middle of the other person’s hand so that the web between your thumb and index finger meets the web of the other person’s web. Apply a firm grip, but not too firm. The best etiquette is to try to mirror the grip pressure used by the other person, if possible.
- Curl your fingers around the other person’s hand.
- Avoid grabbing the end of the other person’s fingers.
4. Pump two to three times. With a slight bend in your elbow, raise and lower your hand two to three times. Keep the movement precise and small.
- Don’t swing in an exaggerated movement.
- Proper etiquette required no more than three pumps.
5. When you have finished, let go of the other person’s hand then stand upright. Continue smiling as you break eye contact.
- It is bad etiquette to wipe your hand.
Handshake Etiquette Mistakes to Avoid
- Don’t offer your hand if the other person is not paying attention.
- Don’t use too much or too little pressure.
- Don’t offer a hand that is sweaty.