The Art of a Handshake
As a professional Butler I have learnt one very important aspect of Etiquette and that is the Handshake. Body Language, Demeanour and Etiquette are 3 fundamental ingredients for the best cocktail ever- called professionalism! Butler Service is a true art form one to adapt to!
The act of shaking hands came about some time during the Roman Empire, not out of respect and good will, but out of fear. In order for two men to become friends, they first had to make sure that the other would not attack. They either laid their weapons on the ground or kept their dominant hand away from their bodies, displaying their empty palms. To be certain that neither man would grab for his sword, they would grasp each other’s dominant hand, and so the handshake was born, not out of friendship, but of pure mistrust.
If you shake hands sincerely, make eye contact and smile it shows the following to your guest:
- Allow me – I am excited to see you!
- “I am responsive and approachable”
- It shows the guest that you are confident in your position and abilities.
- It invites the guest to smile with you
When a guest smiles at you they are saying the same things as you.
If you do not smile, the guest will think something is wrong.
If the guest does not smile at you then something maybe wrong, which you have to put right!
Shaking hands should be done quickly, ensure your hands are not sweaty or ice cold! give a quick firm handshake, you will score by smiling and remembering the name of the person you are shaking hands with!
For some people a handshake is just a useless formality but to others it is a massive indication of a person’s depth of character, trustworthiness and strength. When you shake hands with a person you are doing much more than saying “hello”. You are saying “this is who I am“