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Handshakes, Greetings and Hellos with Poise

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How do you greet people? For many people in the workplace? This is a difficult, dare I say a touchy issue, because it seems complicated fraught with peril. And it can be. You need to look at a lot of things you need to watch what are other people doing in your industry? You also need to see how are things evolving?

There are some professions in the United States and around the world where six months ago, every everyone greeted each other by a kiss on the cheek. Now, they don't do that. Am I telling you never greet someone on the cheek again? No. You're in industry, your company. What you do and your field is completely different.

If everyone does that, and all of a sudden you stop doing that. That can be seen as standoffish and bad body language that's not helping you. I think if you go into most situations, upbeat, looking friendly. A little bit of a smile on your face when you're meeting people. If you're not sure, kind of just look around and see what other people are doing. Follow the lead if you're going to a new country.

For the first time, it's pretty easy to Google. What are the social customs in that country? A lot of my work is in the United States and people shake hands quite often. Although there are some fields where people greet each other with a kiss. So I do that on the cheek. I also work in a lot of European countries, and in some countries, it's a kiss on the cheek, other countries, it's a kiss on both cheeks.

Believe it or not, there are some countries in Europe, where the standard practice is three kisses. Boom, boom, boom, you've got to look at what people are doing. You don't want to offend someone and pull back. If they're doing what's just as normal for them is a handshake. But you also don't want to be giving someone three kisses if they're expecting a hand Shake. So my recommendation, really look around, ask people in your workplace who are more experienced than you and have dealt with these issues, especially if you're going to a new country or new content.

Also, you've got to be keenly aware of religious differences. There are certain religions in the world where the people of one sex do not shake hands, they certainly do not kiss someone of the other sex. And if you violate that, it could mean loss of a client, it could mean severe repercussions. So you've got to be keenly aware of that the more you can find out about the background, the culture of people outside your organization, customers, clients, and even colleagues within your organization, the better when in doubt, try to ask people before the meeting. So you're not asking the person you're dealing with but if that does happen. Have a smile on your face, have a light tone in your voice and just ask, Hey, I'm not sure what the customer is here Do we shake it, and most people are not going to be offended by that.

We talked about shaking hands to get in so many Western cultures and beyond. The default way of meeting someone is you do put out a hand. You shake it, you don't want to shake it violently as some recent high profile politicians here in America have been seen doing but a shaker to firm. Don't break someone's hand to show them how smart you are. Don't have it so limp. They feel like a wet fish is there.

If you get there in between, you should be just right.

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