We all know that a handshake in a professional setting is not only an expectation but it demonstrates that you are polite, confident and approachable.
But what happens when the handshake turns into a hug?
I recently delved into this topic with one of my favourite clients when we were discussing business etiquette and we both shared our experiences of when the handshake was replaced with a hug and how we felt about this. The consensus was – awkward!!
You know the scenario – you go in for the handshake, they go for the hug – there is an awkward pause and then it is just a collision of body parts.
This is not always relevant when there are two male acquaintances meeting as the handshake is the norm, but in my case and the case of many of my female colleagues, is it a handshake or hug.
When I was hashing this out with my female client we came up with the following thoughts:
It’s hard not to read too much into it but in the end its about relationships, setting some personal ground rules and your ability to read the scenario correctly. Instinct should be able to guide you but when in doubt, choose a handshake over a hug, at the very least it will stop some potentially awkward moments!