Etiquette Boss: Handshake protocol demystified

April 30, 2013 Phillipa Morrish
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One of the United States’ richest and most admired citizens created an international furor last week when he committed an etiquette faux-pas. Bill Gates greeted the South Korean president with a handshake, while holding his left hand in his pocket.

Adding to the ‘rude behavior,’ as it was dubbed, his suit jacket was open. The history of the gentleman’s shirt as an undershirt (covered in a previous column under ‘suit jacket removal’) is the reason that an open jacket is forbidden during a formal greeting. Ask your teenage sons to go online and read any of the hundreds of debates surrounding this debacle.

Mr. Gates was in South Korea to promote a new product. Etiquette mistakes can cost goodwill and millions of dollars. One newspaper opined, “This is not a Korean thing; it is international protocol.”

Greeting others correctly covers three stages: first, eye contact. Never shake hands while looking in another direction. It is considered very rude. Secondly, a genuine smile. People may not remember your name, but they will remember how you made them feel. A smile sets the right tone. Thirdly, the handshake — a firm but not crushing grip which is released by the time verbal greetings are complete. The person who first extends the hand is the one who releases first.


Reduce Cellulite Body Scrub

Spring is definitely here and this is the time to make our bodies as beach ready as possible. Some of the best cellulite reducing spa treatments contain extracts of coffee grounds.

Here is one recipe that you can use at home with good results. Take one cup of warm coffee grounds after drinking your morning cup. Mix with one tablespoon olive oil and one half cup of fine sugar. Apply in circular motions on the entire body after initial shower.

Follow with a warm bath and apply a good body lotion or body oil as a moisturizer. The use of a body brush will also help to reduce cellulite. Always use light strokes and brush toward the heart.

Phillipa Morrish is the president of Etiquette Training International.

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