Offering to shake hands is never rude, whereas not offering your hand may be seen as standoffish. It may occasionally be somewhat impractical and if in doubt use your common sense and observe other people. As with all matters of etiquette the best manners do not draw attention to yourself, so to be the only one offering to shake hands on a very informal occasion or one where, for example, the people you meet are occupied or there is some kind of physical barrier, is disruptive and may be seen as attention-seeking.
A firm handshake, lasting a few seconds, is the common form of greeting for all business situations and most social situations too.
-Keep it simple. Do not indulge in double clasps, excessive pumping up and down, holding on too long, or reeling the person in and patting their back.
- Always use your right hand, even if you are left-handed, and 'pump' the hand two or three times before you let it go.
- Ensure that your fingers grip the other person's palm, otherwise you will crush their fingers.
- Be careful not to clench in a bone-crushing grip, but do not offer a limp hand.
- Check that your palms are not sweaty or clammy before shaking hands.