Shaking Hands Kissing Babies

Real estate is  a contract sport. Realtors® need closure. Running comps is my cardio. I need your listing, I sold all of mine. These are all some witty real estate industry sayings, but at the core of our profession is the value of building relationships. Relationships with our clients. Relationships with our colleagues and peers. Relationships with our respective circle of influence.  There are 401 Realtors® in the greater Morgantown area. Chances are everyone knows at least one Realtor®. My ten year old was recently recognized for an accomplishment at his school. He was excited to share in his recognition that he had the opportunity to shake hands with the school principal.  His excitement reminded me when my dad taught me how to shake hands. For some reason, that experience was one that I’ll always remember.  So I took the opportunity to pay it forward and teach my son how to shake hands. The history of the handshake dates back to the 5th century B.C. in Greece. It was a symbol of peace, showing that neither person was carrying a weapon. Some even suggest that the up-and-down motion of the handshake was supposed to dislodge any knives or daggers that might be hidden up a sleeve. Some historians believe it was popularized by the 17th century Quakers, who viewed a simple handclasp as an alternative to bowing or tipping a hat. The greeting later became commonplace, and by the 1800s, etiquette manuals often included guidelines for the proper handshaking technique.

A new study backs up what the etiquette books have been saying all along, that a firm handshake helps make a good first impression. A journal published by the American Psychological Association (APA), finds that consistent with the etiquette and business literature, there is a substantial relation between the features that characterize a firm handshake (strength, vigor, duration, eye contact and completeness of grip) and a favorable first impression.  Your handshake should be firm, but not overly so. Don’t pinch or squeeze the other person’s palms. The ideal handshake will be comfortable and match the grip pressure of the other person.  Conversely, there is actually a name for a handshake that characterizes the opposite of a firm handshake.  The Wet Fish

You know…that limp, “sloppy dishcloth” type of handshake. Etiquette suggests ‘wet fish’ handshake describes  the person as weak in character, cold in nature, insincere, and lacking commitment.  One last topic regarding shaking hands. Our hands carry on average 3,200 different germs belonging to more than 150 species,  of which some can be harmful and cause infection. You probably remember during the COVID-19 pandemic, several countries and organizations adopted policies encouraging people to elbow/fist bump instead of handshakes.  As history tends to repeat itself, I would imagine fist bumps don’t alleviate the comfort in knowing others may not be holding weapons.  Your take away from this week:  learn how to shake hands along with good handwashing techniques.

Until next week, love where you live. And if you don’t … contact your local REALTOR®.

Brian Haufe, 2022 MBOR President