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October 28, 2015

The Humor Behind Handshakes

I really feel as human beings, we need more training in our basic social skills. Conversational Distance, don't you hate these people that talk to you they talk into your mouth like you're a clown at a drive-through and Hand shakes is the worst, there's absolutely no guidelines for hand shakes you know these people? Too long, too weak, sometimes they give you the three-quarter handshake just the fingers, early release, late release, sometimes people will dispute your release, you let go there're hangin' on. I have actually said to people 'Hey the handshake is over!.' Too many pumps, coming in too high, too sweaty, coming from too far away. Sometimes a guy will give you a strong grip, late release, and pull you in for the too close conversation. To him I say 'That's three strikes you're out.'
Seinfeld's opener for the Raincoats 2 episode which aired in 1994 would resonate with many even today. To view this quote as it appeared in the show, see the video below.

So, what is a good handshake? Good handshakes vary from culture to culture and even within subcultures or settings within the same culture.

In Authentic Journeys' training programs, we spend a good amount of time talking about the differences between handshakes and body distance (proxemics) in India, between the region of India we are in and the U.S., and also practicing handshakes that would impress American clients and counterparts.

View some video tutorials on handshakes.
For more information on our U.S. culture training programs, click here

Other posts on Authentic Journeys with Seinfeld reference: 
When to apologize to an American (saying 'bless you when sneezing) 
Better punctuation, better accent (Elaine and use of exclamation marks)  
American accent listening clips (Long Island accent) 

Authentic Journeys: Bridging Culture on Virtual Teams

We help build effective, culturally competent global teams with focus on the cultures of the USA and India. Jennifer Kumar, Managing Director, an American citizen, has almost 10 years experience living, studying and working (owning a business) in India. Authentic Journeys Consultancy is registered as a Private Limited in India (Kerala) and an LLC in the USA (Salt Lake City, Utah). We provide onsite and live-online instructor-led courses, facilitation and corporate coaching.