I had just finished possibly one of the most significant meetings of my life, presenting an idea to the CEO of a large education group. The meeting had gone extremely well and I had to keep from bouncing off the walls with excitement! As the meeting came to a close and we said our goodbyes, the moment arose – the woman-to-woman handshake.
She put her hand out and I awkwardly followed with less than the ideal level of confidence. My handbag was on right shoulder (the hand I shake with) so I was trying to hold it back with my elbow. To balance this, and to keep my handbag from flying forward, I found myself doing this weird four finger handshake that almost made me want to cry with embarrassment.
As we were turning to leave she said to me ‘Can I give you some advice?’, my heart skipped a beat, (all that was going through my mind is oh my god she thinks I’m a moron).
However instead she kindly proceeded to educate me in the art of ‘the handshake’, explaining the basic rules:
1. Confidently hold out your hand
2. Use a firm grip to shake
3. Look them straight in the eye
I would like to add one more rule – make sure your handbag is not on the shoulder of the hand you use to shake!