Recently, a very bright, talented, professional woman asked me that question. Initially, I was startled. Yet, as I thought about the question, I realized that many women in my seminars are reluctant to shake hands, and others do so incorrectly.
In today’s workplace, shaking hands is not for men only. The handshake is the business greeting, and both men and women need to shake hands, and to do so correctly.
One woman said she got her job because she shook hands at the beginning of the interview and at the end. The manager told the woman that he chose her because she handled herself so professionally.
Why do women sometimes feel uncomfortable about shaking hands? The reasons vary:
3. Many women were taught that they did not need to stand when shaking hands. Before each of my seminars, I walk around the room to introduce myself to my participants and extend my hand in a greeting. Approximately 70 to 75 percent of men, but only 30 to 35 percent of women, stand to shake my hand. You establish your presence when you stand. Both men and women need to stand when shaking hands.
Additional information on the handshake and greetings can be found in my new book, The Essentials of Business Etiquette: How to Greet, Eat and Tweet Your Way to Success (McGraw Hill). Reserve your copy now at Amazon.
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