知っておきたい「握手」の作法

Cold Hands, Warm Heart

By Taygen Hulett

我々日本人に馴染みの薄い「握手」の文化。「お辞儀文化」に慣れ親しんだ日本人には、照れがあったり、握手しながらお辞儀したりと、礼儀を何層にも重ねた不自然な挨拶になりかねません。

 

一方で握手は、単なる挨拶というだけではなく、一気に親密さを増すことのできる、いわば ice breakの身近なツールにもなります。国内外を問わず、またビジネスとプライベートを問わず、最低限のマナーを身に着けて、率直で自然な振舞いを身に着けたいたいものです。

Have you ever heard someone say “I want to make a good first impression?” It turns out first impressions are generally made within the first 7 seconds of meeting someone new. Shaking hands has been shown to be an important part of forming a good first impression and can assist with building trust, cooperation, increase your potential of being hired, and conveys confidence non-verbally.

When to shake hands:

  • When introducing yourself
  • Greeting clients into an office
  • Greeting a business associate
  • When greeting a host and guests at an event
  • When you establish a business contract
  • Starting or ending a business meeting

 

 

How to shake hands and make a good impression:

 

  • Shake with your right hand

The right hand is always presented when shaking hands in all social and business situations. This means that if you are carrying something in your right hand you should place the item down or swap the item to your left hand.

  • Position in a company

The person that holds the most senior business role will usually present their hand first. For example, if you were to meet the CEO of a company it is expected that he or she would present their right hand to you first.

  • Men and women are equal in business

In social situations sometimes men will not shake hands with women, this is considered gentlemanly. In business this rule does not apply as men and women are seen as equal. For this reason it is often appropriate for women to present her hand to a male regardless of position held in a company.

  • Palm to palm contact

Your palm should meet the other person’s palm to form a complete hand shake. Women should shake palm to palm also. Previously it was thought that women should present four fingers to lightly shake hands. This social rule has changed and women are now expected to provide a firm handshake in business using appropriate hand contact.

  • Shake from your elbow

When shaking hands it is important to shake from your elbow, moving your forearm in an up and down motion so you do not jolt the other person’s arm. Shaking hands is a friendly interaction.

  • Firm but not too tight

A hand shake should be comfortable for you and your business associate. You may like to match the grip of your associate by relaxing or tighten your grip to match the way they are applying pressure to your hand.

  • Eye contact

It is important to maintain eye contact with the person you are shaking hands with for approximately 2-3 seconds, about the same time it takes to naturally introduce yourself.

  • Etiquette

Sometimes the person you shake hands with may have sweaty palms. It is important not to wipe your hand immediately after shaking hands. This could cause the other person to be embarrassed.

Taygen's Personal Note:

  • It is not unusual for people to comment on the warmth or coldness of your hand. This is nothing to be embarrassed about and is just a simple observation.
  • I often have cold hands and people may say for example:

“Oh, you have cold hands”

  • I may reply by saying: “Cold hands, warm heart” and smile.
  • Cold hands, warm heart is a very common English idiom or saying. It means that the person that has cold hands has a kind heart or kind personality.
  • If you shake hands with someone and they have cold hands you could say to them ‘cold hands, warm heart’ and offer a smile.

 

 Taygen Hulett:

 Basic Course / Standard Course (Human Resources)担当

キャリア・カウンセラーで、ベーシック・コースとスタンダード・コースのコーチを務めるタイゲンが、握手の作法を紹介してくれました。タイゲンは、お辞儀に作法があるように、握手にも次のようにTPOに応じた作法があると言います。

 

  • 握手は右手で
  • 最上位の役職・ポジションの人から握手を求める
  • 男女同等
  • 互いの手のひらを合わせる
  • 肘から腕を振る
  • しっかり握る、強すぎないよう
  • アイコンタクト
  • エチケット(相手の手汗を握手直後に拭わない)

「お辞儀文化」に慣れ親しんだ日本人は、握手しながらお辞儀したりと、何だかぎこちない。背筋を伸ばして、相手と視線を合わせ、堂々と握手することが中々できない。

 

またタイゲンは私見として次のように述べています。

 

  • 相手の手の「温かさ」や「冷たさ」について、握手後にコメントすることについて、余り気にする必要はない、と。彼女自身どうやら「冷たい」手の持ち主のようだ。
  • 「手が冷たいんですね。」というコメントに対して彼女は、
  • 「手が冷たい人は、こころが温かいんですよ。」と、笑顔で答えるそうだ。

 

日本でも良く聞く「迷信?」ですが、英語圏でも同じように言うらしい。冷え症の人は、”Cold hands, warm heart” and offer a smile!を励行してみてはいかがでしょうか。

 

図師 純一郎 CEO


図師純一郎、東京都出身。UCSB (カリフォルニア大学サンタバーバラ校)にてMaster of Arts (MA) in Political Scienceを取得後、三井銀行(現三井住友銀行)に入行。海外の現場で現地企業取引を中心に第一線の業務を担当。外資系銀行に転じ、Vice Presidentに就任。その後も大学で教鞭を取るなど活動の幅を広げる。2015年にアレクシス株式会社を共同設立し、代表取締役CEOとして現在に至る。現場の「臨場感」のある本物のビジネス英語を、若いビジネスパーソンにやさしく伝えたい、という熱い思いは常に変わらない。