The Fist Bump Vs Shaking Hands

The latest trend in the US and Canada is to fist bump rather than shaking hands. The reason is to help prevent the spread of germs with open hand to open hand contact.

It will be interesting to see whether this trend takes off here. It is hard to imagine two businessmen in their suits and ties giving each other fist bumps but it certainly does make sense when we consider the number of dangerous germs floating around.

It certainly is a trend among the young people, particularly those not in the corporate world.

Often when we shake hands with people we wonder what that hand has just touched or how long ago was it that the person washed their hands.  Similarly, when I shake hands with someone, if it has been a while since I washed my hands I am very conscious of this but cannot refuse to shake hands.

There are just a few rules around shaking hands:

1.  The web of each person’s hand should touch – this is the skin between the thumb and the first finger.
2.  You should not shake hands just using the tips of your fingers – this is the Queen’s handshake and is reserved for her.
3.  You should give 2 or 3 pumps of the hand
4.  You should look the person in the eye when shaking hands and give a friendly smile or at least an open friendly face expression.
5.  The pumping action should come from the elbow not the wrist or shoulder.
6.  The grip should be firm but not so firm that you break the other person’s fingers.
7.  It is polite to say “hello” or “how do you do?”
8.  If the other person says “How do you do?” this is a rhetorical question and should not be answered.

If you would like more information or you would like to take a course, please contact us.