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Times To Avoid Shaking Hands

Did you know that there are times to avoid shaking hands?

A handshake is the only socially acceptable form of touch in western business, and it conveys a lot about you, including your confidence and professionalism. The ritual of handshaking began as a way for men to signal peace when meeting by showing that neither person held a weapon. In the United States, women began shaking hands when they entered the workplace in significant numbers. Today, all professionals should master a correct handshake, and men should not make the mistake of shaking a woman’s hand any differently than a male colleague.

When should you avoid shaking hands? If you are ill, your hand is dirty or injured, or you are afflicted with a skin disease, skip the handshake. Instead, smile warmly, make eye contact, and apologize for not being able to shake hands. Handshaking customs vary across cultures and religions. Be aware of who you are meeting, and honor their custom or faith by skipping or modifying the handshake where appropriate.

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