This is for everyone, really, not just folks in creative industries.
I frequent many gatherings and events and meet a lot of folks, which usually involves an introduction that begins with a handshake. Being a germaphobe I don't really like handshakes, but do feel that they're necessary, and always try to give the best when I do shake hands. It just feels like a great way to initiate a conversation with someone new.
One of my biggest pet peeves: limp handshakes, which often feel un-welcomed or unintended from the other party.
There are tons of studies about it, and the phenomena has probably been discussed somewhere in business magazines and articles, so I'm sure there are all kinds of resources on a why a good handshake is important. So no need to bore you with theory. Instead, I thought I'd share why it's important for me to give a good one.
I like to give good handshakes because:
1. It's a great way to be present and command attention. We all bring something of value to any space we occupy. A good firm handshake is a great way to remind ourselves of this and to make sure the other person is aware of that energy, too.
2. It's a moment to acknowledge the other person. I love the basic tip: shake the hand firmly and look 'em in the eye. Kind of like in the film Avatar, where the Na'vis from the planet Pandora, greeted one another with the statement, "I see you," as they take a moment to look in the eyes of the other person. Here on planet earth, it's a simple way to remember that no matter who you're meeting, on a very basic level, we are all human beings. We should always acknowledge that fact, and a good handshake is great way of doing so.
3. It's a great way to make a good first impression. The first two can really be rolled into this reason. It sucks that we can be really amazing people but that a first impression can make for missed opportunities or bad experiences. But in this standard western greeting, that's just how it is. Therefore, knowing this allows us to be prepared when starting an introduction with the intention of being great — even if it's for a fleeting moment. Because in every moment we should always be awesome and a lame, disingenuous, limp, finger-only handshake is not the best we can do.
Those are my thoughts. What are your experiences? Are you aware of your handshake? Does it matter to you if you give or receive a bad handshake?