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Art of The Make Or Break Handshake

In a recent survey by, 76 percent of responders want all physical contact banned from the workplace. If you are hugging and kissing random co-workers – yes, you’re asking for trouble. Strangely, 38 percent think all workplace greetings are awkward.

What about handshakes? It’s so ingrained into our culture, it’s second nature to every meet and greet. Good luck not shaking an extended hand without offending anyone.

The job hunt... Internships... Networking events... Your first impression often starts with the handshake. So make it a good one. Your working relationship may depend on it.

Practice makes perfect. Personally, I’m an usher at a mid-sized church, so it’s not unusual for me to grip roughly a hundred hands each week. You only need one good shaker to work with you.

By all means, avoid the “dead fish” shake. It’s that lifeless shake, where you barely touch the hand or loosely grasp the other's fingertips. You can't convey I’m “pleased to meet you,” with this unfriendly greeting.

The “vice grip” is the other extreme. Sometimes I’m guilty of this when other person doesn’t grasp my hand firmly. If someone grips you too firmly, squeeze just a little tighter to equalize the pressure.

The best way to go in is to make sure the “thumb webs” are touching. (I don’t know the technical name of this part of the hand, but you know what I mean.)

Sweaty hands? Keep some hand sanitizer handy. The alcohol will dry them up quickly and cut down the germ factor as a bonus.

These are simple steps to a memorable "hello" and "goodbye." Now I give you a virtual handshake and wish you the best.

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