Secrets of the perfect handshake

A handshake is part of making a great first impression. Everybody remembers a bad shaker. For instance your aunt or uncle? Maybe their handshake is too firm, or too loose. Both ways aren’t very pleasurable. Hereby I give you my tips for the perfect handshake:

handshake

Timing
When do you start the handshake? And are you the one who should initiate it? Usually the person with authority starts the handshake, like your employer or a minister. Wait for them to start. When you are the right person to start a handshake, don’t wait too long. Things can get kind of awkward and it gets less natural to start.

Posture
Get out of your chair, stand confident and smile when you offer your hand. Make sure you palms don’t feel sweaty. While you handshake it’s the perfect time to say something nice. For instance: ‘It’s great to meet you Jack.’ When repeating the other person’s name you are more likely te remember them.

Firmness
Nobody likes the feel of a flabby hand. Make your handshake firm, but don’t overdo it. You don’t want to hurt people. Is the other person a child or a very old lady? Adjust your grip just a little bit.

Duration
It should feel natural when to let go. You don’t have to hang on while you talk. The average handshake will last a few seconds.

Things to keep in mind
There are a few other things you should be aware of while you handshake. Is the other person wounded on their right hand? Offer your left hand. When you shake hands, what do you do with the rest of your body? – Get your left hand out of your pocket! The handshake should be done in an up and down motion. Some people tend to rotate the handshake so their hand is on top, this gives the impression of authority. Other people put their left hand on top of the handshake. In this situation, you could pat the side of the upper arm of the other person.

Good luck!

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May bike month: etiquette of riding a bike

May is the perfect month to explore the country by bike. The weather is lovely, the flowers are blooming and it’s just nice to be active and outside. But before you go off on your pretty orange rental, I want to give you some bike etiquette ‘rules’. For your own safety!

orange bike amsterdam

Use the bicycle lane
In Holland we have a lot of lanes especially made for bikers. They are usually red and have white painted bicycles on them. They are placed between the sidewalk and freeway. If there is no bike lane you can use the normal road. Do not use the sidewalk, you’ll get a ticket!

Stay on the right side of the road
In Holland we drive on the right side of the road. Since we are all quite experienced bikers we rode our bikes, fixies and bike trailers pretty fast. Staying on the right saves you from collisions with other bikers and… angry looks.

Use you hands
Want to go left or right? Use your hands to let other people know where you are going. Always check your blind spots before doing this, you don’t want to hit someone in the face.

The bell, use it wisely
It’s the soundtrack of Amsterdam, ringing bike bells. They are used for several purposes. 1) Watch out, here I come! 2) Go out of my way! 3) I am trying to pass you. 4) Hey, I know you. (This usually includes a wave) 5) Let’s hear if there’s an echo in this tunnel.

Have fun
Biking wouldn’t be so popular if it wasn’t fun. So, go out, explore and enjoy your time. Don’t forget to bring a map, sunscreen and a cap! Bring a basket with some treats and make a day out of it. Have fun!

Business travel etiquette

Travelling for business reasons can be great. You get to go to places you’ve never been before and experience all kinds of different cultures, foods and climates. But there are a few unwritten rules you should keep in mind. I collected a few do’s and don’ts about business travel etiquette for you. I’m curious about your travel tips. Will you leave them in the comments?

business travel etiquette

Be prepared
There’s nothing more annoying than bringing the wrong kind of creditcard, clothes or business information. Prepare in advance. Should you bring a VISA or MasterCard? What season is it at my destination? Which language do the people speak? Asking yourself these simple questions can avoid a lot of problems.

Read about the country & culture
People in other countries have a different cultural context. Words, but also hand gestures can have a total different meaning then you’re used to. Going for business abroad usually means eating and drinking with local people. Read up about food etiquette before you go to dinner. It shows respect for the local culture and makes for a great conversation starter.

Stay fit & healthy
You can’t always choose what you’ll eat and how much you sleep during business travels. Therefore travelling can be quite tiresome. So try to stay fit and healthy as much as you can. Hydrate, keep moving during your flight doing little exercises and sleep when you can. And… of course choosing those vegetables over the fried chicken will help as well.. 😉

The importance of privacy
Travelling with fellow colleagues can be a lot more fun than travelling solo. But being around each other for a longer period of time could lead to irritation. This can be easily avoided by respecting the privacy of others. When people sleep during the flight, leave them. When they look like they want to be left alone, they probably want to be left alone. Giving each other space will make your trip a lot more relaxed!

Keep ‘business’ in mind
Even when you find yourself on a white beach with a beautiful sunset, keep in mind why you are here. It is not a vacation. You are here for work reasons. Of course business can be mixed with pleasure, but keep it neat. Don’t drink too much, don’t get too informal with your colleagues and respect people and things around you.

What are your favourite business travel tips? Will you leave them in the comments?