Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Perfect Handshake: Yes, It’s “Three Pumps” Regardless of Participants’ Gender

During my seminars on “Some Simple Skills for Creating a Highly Favorable First Impression,” I invariably demonstrate the “perfect handshake,” a key component of which is doing three pumps. And that almost always provokes the following question from someone in the audience: “Should there be three pumps even when it’s a guy shaking hands with a woman?” My unequivocal “yes” surprises some, perhaps because they think that three pumps might come across as much too macho. Sometimes I respond to that bit of incredulity by telling them of a video clip showing President Obama entering a small conference room packed with women, and that as he went around the table greeting each person, yes, he did the three pumps almost unfailingly.

Click on the video clip below, and you’ll see NBC’s Brian Williams doing a three-pump handshake with Ann Romney at the conclusion of his interview with her yesterday. Yes, the pumps look to be a bit tepid, but that’s probably because a vigorous handshake can be quite awkward when both participants are seated.

© Copyright 2012 V. J. Singal
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