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Don't shake on it

12 August 2014

For a long time, many a business person has been judged on the quality of their handshake. Likewise, business deals have been forged in the fire of a good hand shake while others have fallen at the final handshake, thwarted by poor technique or even - shock, horror, by their absence.

It is, after all, the body language of business, not only a matter of etiquette but psychology. Consciously or not, we are all amateur psychologists and the handshake is fair game for reading into a person's personality. If someone proffers a confident hand shake it is likely to inspire our trust in that person's abilities, while a clammy one may sow doubt – and irritation if we're out of tissues.

With so much at stake, those who have dedicated hours to honing their hand shake could be at an advantage. Or they could have completely wasted their time. There are murmurs that the handshake is now old hat. The fist bump is the new thing.

It's in response to research carried out by scientists at Aberystwyth University in Wales which found that ditching handshakes in favour of more informal fist bumps could help to cut down on the spread of bacteria and illnesses like flu.

The study in the American Journal of Infection Control found that fist bumps, where two people briefly press the top of their closed fists together, transferred about 90% less bacteria than handshakes. This is thought to be due, in part, to the fist bump being quicker than a firm handshake and having a smaller contact area. It's probably easier to take the passing of the hand shake once you know the germs involved.

Now from hand shakes to shaking things up.

A new show with a new concept has landed in the cleaning and hygiene industry. Cleaning Expo Scotland, which takes place on 3rd-4th September at the SECC, Glasgow, will provide Scotland with its very own regional show.

You will be able to flip over the August/September issue of Cleaning Matters (out later this month) to read the Show Guide in advance of your visit. Cleaning Matters will have a stand at the event and we look forward to seeing you there - you can even try out your fist bump technique on us.