5 Handshake Styles and What They Say About You

If you don’t already know how amazing the new 2015 MINI 5 door is, you’ve been doing it wrong. 

In fact, this five door packs so much inspiration it inspired us to start thinking about what it means for young professionals (YPs) to open as many doors as possible.

Both literally and figuratively.

And one of the most important ways to ensure you’re doing that as a YP is through your first point of contact. ‘Cause let’s face it, these days your handshake matters a hell of a lot more than your business card.

So the next time you’re literally reaching out, whether networking at cocktail hour or meeting a new CEO, keep these handshake styles in mind. And definitely be aware of what you’re communicating.

It could mean the difference between opening your next door or having it slammed in your face…


The Dead Fish: This classic limp-handed shake is just about as bad as it gets. If you’re trying to tell someone you lack confidence, congratulations, you’re doing it very well. 

The Princess: Never offer your hand in any other way than a straightforward shake. The bent wrist, fingers down move is not okay. Ever. Unless you meet the Queen of England. If she does it, she’s earned it. 


The Hulk: It’s great that you work out, but there’s really no need to prove it every time you meet someone. Hurting someone is never a good start.

The I-Mean-Business: Locked eyes, intense leaning-forward body posture – this is you at your most committed. If the receiver’s with you, this can work well. If they’re not, you’re probably scaring them.


The High-Five: Why are you high-fiving someone? Why? Stop doing this. It’s not a greeting or a goodbye. This is the least professional move in your arsenal.  

The Pound: You’re trying too hard. Stop. But if you can’t, definitely don’t ‘blow it up’ afterwards. What are you, 15?


The Tickler: This is a handshake. Keep your fingers from wandering or doing anything weird. It might actually be worse than the Dead Fish.

The Never-Let-Me-Go: A handshake is a greeting or a goodbye. It’s not an ongoing commitment. Don’t linger or hold on too long – it makes everyone uncomfortable.


The Two-Hander: There are specific times when adding your second hand to the shake can be extremely powerful. It suggests both attention and a little extra caring. Reserve it for the right moments and you’ll be rewarded. Use it too much and it’ll seem phony.

The Proper: Firm but not rough. Memorable but not long. Confident without being controlling. Two pumps, a smile, and you’re out. This is how it’s done.  


Cover image from: smosh.com

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