Published on Sep 21, 2015

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Have you ever encountered a ‘sweaty palmer’?  No, we’re not talking about a fossil-loving mining magnate – we’re talking about a bad handshake.

It’s long been touted a handshake has the ability to make or break a deal.

A 2012 study published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience has cemented that notion, finding “a handshake preceding social interaction enhanced the positive impact of approach and diminished the negative impact of avoidance behaviour on the evaluation of social interaction.”

And it can’t just be any handshake.  The researchers found a specific type of handshake – namely a firm, confident, yet friendly handshake – is the right formula for success.  Eye contact is also important.

Another study carried out in 2008 found a solid handshake was a strong determining factor when making a decision about a potential employees’ hireability.

In the study, 98 students had their handshakes assessed by trained handshake raters and were then put through mock job interviews.  Students who received a high rating from the handshake assessor were more likely to receive a favourable rating from interviewers.

In a Live Science article the study leader Greg Stewart, a University of Iowa associate professor of management and organisations, said it was all to do with first impressions.  Much anecdotal evidence exists to suggest an employer makes a decision about a potential employee’s hireability within the first few minutes of an interview, with the introductory handshake at the forefront of this first impression.

Make a good first impression

Put your hand shake to the test at the Advance Cessnock City Networking function at the Hunter Valley Visitor Centre on 13 October 2015.  Make an impression and drum up business on the night. Register your attendance here.

Check out business.gov.au’s video guide to the top 10 bad business handshakes below, and make sure you aren’t guilty of a ‘sweaty palmer’ next time you shake it out.