The experts agree that it’s not so much that handshake itself that’s important, but rather the culturally universal message it conveys: one of cooperation and connection. After all, from bowing to pressing noses, alternatives already exist.
Even as humans face rare crises like COVID-19, we still need human connection – something that, depending on your culture, is communicated with a bow, a hug, a kiss, or a handshake.
If there is a need to adapt, we – as human beings – are immensely capable.
Several countries and organisations have adopted policies encouraging people to use alternative modes of greeting instead of a handshake. Suggested alternatives have included the elbow bump, the fist bump, Roman Salute, foot-tapping, or non-contact actions for social distancing purposes, such as a namaste gesture.
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The greeting process is an important ritual and is a fundamental part of making a good first impression. If you’re unsure, it affects your confidence. What’s required is a professional and consistent alternative. Let’s examine, then demonstrate what we believe are the best options right now.