The Fine Art of Saying "Hello"

October 21st, 2013 by The JetSetter Team | 2 Comments »

YouSlide1 (3)’ve all heard it—variations on the idea that there’s no such thing as a second first impression. Nowhere is it more true than in international business situations. As a world traveler and international businessman pioneer, Jason Hartman has learned that nonverbal communication (which comprises approximately 80% of what we say) is vital to establishing effective relationships.

By performing an initial greeting, we say many things about ourselves, our country, and our intentions.

The Handshake

Handshaking has long been depicted—in ancient art, individuals are seen grasping hands in a variety of situations. The handshake is still practiced as a means of greeting one another, sealing a business deal, and saying a formal farewell. Sometimes, as in China, the handshake lasts for an extended period of time. In many countries, there are rules regarding initiation of the handshake, as well as the letting go.

Generally, a handshake is a safe choice when it comes to greeting a person. Be careful, though—in some countries, there are rules about gender and order of handshake, firmness of grip, and frequency. Always check the local customs before extending your palm.

The Hand-Kiss

In Russia, a kiss on the hand is generally more appropriate for greeting a woman, unless it happens in a business situation. Look up the rules before you go puckering up.

The Cheek Kiss

In many countries, it is traditional for both genders to kiss one another on the check in addition to the handshake.

The Hand Hug

Especially popular with American politicians, this handshake utilizes both hands. The left hand encompasses the two clasping hands as a signal of familiarity and warmth. It toes the line between personal and professional while never crossing it.

The Handshake-Turned-Hug

This combination move is used once a familiarity is established with a person. Used by acquaintances, friends, and family, the handshake morphs into a one-handed side hug to say hello or goodbye.

The Fist-Bump
Practiced initially by young people, the fist bump can be a nice way to greet someone during the germy season. Done by simply touching fists together, this variation on the handshake says, “what’s up” in a fairly casual way.

All kidding aside, the way we choose to greet another is especially important in an age where so much happens over the Internet or phone. Before choosing a way to proceed, evaluate your situation and do a little bit of research. Then, fist-bump, cheek kiss, or make up your own festive greeting. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/visitberlin/9244519525/)


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