Nice to meet you! Let’s (not) shake hands: Professional greetings in the time of COVID-19.

Businessman at an exhibition or conference wearing a Hello my name is security identity name card or tag

What do we do when we meet someone new? We shake hands. In the American culture of the professional world, handshakes are how we greet each other at the start of interviews, meetings, conferences, and networking events. When closing a deal, we “shake on it.”

In the COVID-19 pandemic world, the CDC guidelines recommend that we avoid close contact with others to prevent the spread of the virus. We are able to swap out appointments and meetings with Zoom or other virtual formats. We have options for “contactless” food pick up or delivery.

So what are our alternatives for a handshake-free future? You may consider a little wave or elbow bump. Perhaps a polite nod or a small bow. Making deliberate eye contact while addressing the person you are meeting can make a connection. There will be a lot of different approaches as we get back to the face-to-face world.

How do you know the best way to greet someone? Ask them! Follow their lead and make it work with what you are comfortable with in that situation. Learning how to interact with others is key to personal and professional success. Working through this new way of doing business will show your willingness to learn and adapt – great qualities we can all agree on.

Want to learn more? Contact a Careers Instructor today. Yes, we can meet with you virtually!

Beaver Dam: Wendy Herrmann, M.A,, 920-887-4437                                       

Fond du Lac: Dr. Rhonda Roehrig,, 920-924-3244

West Bend: Lisa Ferguson, M.S,, 262-335-5773
Written by Wendy Herrmann