As young ladies our parents were less likely to teach us to shake hands when greeting others compared to our brothers (or male business counterparts). Businesswomen should feel comfortable shaking hands in the workplace at all times.  A good handshake tells someone you are confident, feel good about yourself and are happy to meet him. A handshake also conveys to the other person how we feel about them. A proper handshake conveys a positive message to the other person, whereas a fingertip hold or an overly strong grip sends a negative impression.

Here are 7 Tips for a Proper Handshake Greeting:

Stand Up – In social situations, it is polite for women to stay seated when introduced to someone, however, it is a different ball game in the business world.  Businesswomen will lose credibility if they remain seated to shake someone’s hand and greet them.

Make Eye Contact – Good eye contact (40-60% of the time) provides a positive connection with the other person.  It shows the person you are confident and are interested in them and the conversation.

Smile – A smile puts the person being introduced to you at ease.  It is a warm and welcoming way to greet someone and leaves a positive impression.

Connect – The proper way to approach a handshake with another person is to have your hand out, fingers extended and thumb pointing straight up to the ceiling.  This will allow you to connect web-to-web (the section of our hands between the thumb and forefinger).  Two firm pumps from the elbow is a proper handshake.

Introductions – When someone introduces himself to you, respond with “Hello, (the person’s name).  It is nice to meet you.”  “Hi” or “Hey” is unprofessional and not enough effort on your part.  When introducing yourself to someone, always provide your first and last name.

Remembering Names – If you say the person’s name three times (once when you are meeting them, once in conversation, and one last time when you are exiting the conversation) it is more likely you will remember the person’s name.

Closing a Conversation – close a conversation with a handshake and a pleasant goodbye.