Have you ever noticed that sometimes when you go to shake another person’s hand, that their eyes are looking somewhere else? How does that make you feel? If you’re like me, it probably makes you feel that you’re not very important to that person. Just another hand in the line to shake, right?

Shaking hands is one of the oldest forms of communications. It originated by showing the person you are greeting that you come unarmed. It’s a standard business and personal practice, particularly in the western world.

Too bad we are often thinking about something else when making that communication link. It might be about the sales presentation we are about to give. Or, if you’re in a group of people, you might wonder if the other person is scanning the crowd to see who else’s hand they need to shake instead of greeting you. Does this make you wonder where your eyes are when you shake? It did for me.

Why don’t you take the same challenge I gave myself. Make a concerted effort to slow down and enjoy the greeting of the person who’s attached to that hand. Making solid eye contact along with a firm hand shake and kind word not only is good for business, it’s also good manners. It will make you memorable to that person.

The next time you’re in a situation to meet and greet, think about your posture and the message you’re sending. Remember, eye contact is a form of communication. I believe you will find the quality of this communication as well as your relationships will improve. They have for me.