WJR Business Beat: A Fist Bump or Handshake? (Episode 432)

On today’s Business Beat, Paul W. Smith and Jeff Sloan debate the merits of the handshake and fist bump in these post-pandemic times.

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Paul: It is 7:13 at 760 WJR. And the one and only, time for the one and only StartupNation founder, WJR’s Jeff Sloan with our WJR Business Beat. He spotlights the entrepreneurial tech startup community on WJR. I’m gonna break from protocol where I usually just throw it to Jeff, but I’m gonna ask Jeff and I hope this doesn’t throw him. I’m just gonna ask him instead of just throwing it to him, what is the latest business protocol in what is supposed to be the post-pandemic area? Where we used to always greet everyone with a handshake I’m finding now people who are still kind of in the middle of a handshake or a fist bump or not knowing what to do. So, I’ll ask the expert.

Jeff: Paul, good morning. Yes, this is a real dilemma for those of us in business. Of course, it, you know, flows over into our everyday lives as well. But for those of us in business, you have a guest coming in an important contact, whatever it may be, and you have to greet them, of course. And it used to be, you just had the handshake at the ready and you went with a traditional handshake. But Paul, we know how the pandemic has reshaped our lives and one of the things we learned was the risks of physical contact with others.

So what to do, Paul? This is a real dilemma for us and Cory Treffiletti just published an article in mediainsider.com and helped frame out the issue a little bit and it seems that, you know, it’s really depending on circumstances. I mean maybe if it’s a first-time really, really important guest, you gotta stick with tradition and go with a handshake. But for me, I don’t know about you, Paul and Sean, you know, I just see my instinct these days is the fist bump, it just seems to work, especially if you’re greeting a friend or someone that you’ve met previously and re-greeting them again, the fist bump just seems like the safer way to go.

Now here’s something interesting. The handshake was invented, likely that is, because it was a way to show people that you weren’t carrying a weapon. Right. Right. OK. Yeah. And the fist bump originated, it was credited to Stan Musial, he’s the legendary baseball player, of course, and he was having a situation. Fans wanted to shake his hand. He kept catching a cold. So he invented the fist bump and you know, who would ever think in business, we’d be talking about the good old fist bump seriously, but it, but it’s a real issue, Paul. Like, yeah. Right.

Paul: Remember when the only thing we had to worry about in terms of protocol with business were some of the international or cultural differences upon greeting someone that you were doing business with. There were different ways of approaching it. Now the world is approaching this and fist bumps are everywhere around the world because of the concern.

Jeff: They are and they just work. I was just recently at a conference, lots of people, obviously there, and, you know, the fist bump, I was seeing everybody that was the way to go. And so I think in that setting, again, as I mentioned in a more casual setting that seems to work really, really well. So for me, Paul, I’m going with fist bump. Right here on the Business Beat. There you have it. It’s Friday morning, we went with a lighter topic this morning, but still one highly relevant, as I said, I’m going with the fist bump these days.

Paul: So when, so when you, when you greet your fabulous producer engineer, Mark Pastoria, do you do a handshake or a fist bump?

Jeff: You know, in certain special occasions, Paul, for you, for Mark Pastoria, it’s the hug. I was, I was thinking, skip the fist, bump, skip the handshake, it’s out there.

Paul: Right. I used to be a big hugger. I still hug a little, but it’s I do it now with a request for permission to hug, you think it’s OK if right. You think it’s OK if we hug. Because you don’t know where people stand, not just for worried about disease, but everything else these days. Yeah. Right.

Jeff: And it all becomes an awkward, silly little dance sometimes, too. Doesn’t it? You go in for the handshake or for the hug and it’s ooh. You know, anyway. All right, Paul, it’s Friday, there you have it on the Business Beat.

Paul: We’ll listen to you tomorrow as well, Jeff. Thanks much. Jeff: All right. Paul: Thanks, Jeff Sloan here on the Paul W. Smith Show News Talk 760 WJR.


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