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How to shake hands with foreigners – a quick tip

By: Stephan Smith | Date: 11 April 2014

How to shake hands with foreigners – a quick tip


They say that the first impression is the most important thing. Perhaps that’s why when we’re introduced to someone, we pay attention on what the other person looks like and what they say. Often, however, we do not recognize the signals sent by our interlocutor by their gestures, and they could gave us exceptionally valuable information about them.


In business and social relations the handshake plays a very important role. According to the way hands are touching a lot can be said in terms of the nature, behavior and attitude of the person you shake hands with.


The handshake is more than just a form of greeting; it is an act which suggests strength, confidence and professionalism. Not knowing how to shake hands properly can create unpleasant impressions. You should be especially careful when shaking hands with people from other nations and states, because each one has a specific etiquette and protocol in introductions and meetings.


USA – a firm, solid handshake with two or three handshakes


Germany – a firm handshake - with one shake


France – a gentle handshake - a quick shake


Japan – a weak handshake


Australia – a firm handshake


Latin America – a mild to moderate grip, several times


Middle East – a careful and weak grip, gentle shake when greeting


Asia – a delicate handshake and a brief shake


Sweden – a strong grip, keeping an eye contact


Belgium – a quick weak handshake


Russia – a firm handshake


Every handshake says a lot about people, so it is good before you meet foreigners, to get familiar with the cultural traditions and customs of the particular country.

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