HANDSHAKE - Benched Again!

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HANDSHAKE - Benched Again!

 Written By: Sandi MacCalla ~ 8/15/2022

That moment your new business prospect reaches out with a handshake … what should you do?

  • BLOGPOST_HandShakeBenched08152022A.jpgElbow-bump?

  • Fist-bump?

  • Wave?

  • Make an excuse?

  • How about a foot-bump, or maybe a dance?

Here comes the latest version of COVID-19 Coronavirus, highly transmissible and resistant to the best medical expertise. You want a good first meeting. You’re all masked up, meeting outside vaccinated/boosted, taking Vitamin C & D, and carrying hand sanitizer, et al.

Options that have been entertained but are definitely “not in play:

  • Ignore the outstretched hand. Nope, too rude.

  • Jazz hands (open hands fluttering, spread fingers). Nope, too goofy.

  • The chest bump. Nope, too close.

  • A finger point, wink or a finger gun. Nope, insensitive.

  • ‘Sup bro/sis?’ head nod. Maybe in California, confusing.

  • The hug, cheek air-kiss. Nope, too close again.

  • A shoulder-shimmy. Probably not, confusing. Are you having a seizure?

  • Japanese bow or Corona Curtsey (back knee bent, short bow). Not universal, may be awkward.

  • Thumbs-Up. Nope, dated and confusing message.

BLOGPOST_HandShakeBenched08152022B.jpgHands (gloved or ungloved) at best are secretively gross – even to the owner. They don’t exhibit where they’ve been like hands that have been cooking or gardening. Almost anything you do to respond to an offered handshake can be suspect or rude.

This is where etiquette falls short. There is no clear response. But there are possibilities. This is where you look your new business associate in the eyes, smile (very important) and hold up your hands/elbow/foot for them to respond to one of the 5 first options above. This allows you both to greet each other respectfully and stay safe. This is also the first step of “agreeing” on an action together. It sets a positive tone and opens the connection. And it fulfills the objective of etiquette – to make the other person comfortable. You will start your business relationship at a higher level of care.

SARS-COVID is still affecting how we greet and interact face-to-face. Long-term, it may be losing strength, but we are still feeling our way with it. We can use this challenge to make a new way of greeting or develop more shared options of how we connect. For now, the handshake is back on the bench for the greater good. Stay safe, stay friendly, still care.

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