Business Magazine

Languages of Appreciation: Physical Touch

Posted on the 03 October 2011 by Candacemoody @candacemoody

Gary Chapman and Paul White are the authors of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace.  Their book discusses why appreciation is one of the most important elements of employee motivation and satisfaction.   The Five Languages of Appreciation are based on the Five Languages of Love, which is why they include Physical Touch, although physical touch is a tricky proposition in any workplace.

As it turns out, very few workers (almost none) identified physical touch as even part of how they seek or show appreciation in the workplace.  As more and more human resources professionals educate companies on the hazards of sexual harassment and cultural differences in how people perceive touch, it’s not surprising that very few workers or managers think of touch to say thank you.

Despite all our evolution, we humans are creatures of the senses, so touch can still be a very powerful method of communication between us.  As a general rule, extroverts are more comfortable than introverts with touch, as are women more so than men.  As a woman, I have received and given hugs, high fives, and other brief touches in the workplace.  Almost everyone I know instinctively knows the border between neutral touching and inappropriate or uncomfortable contact, and I can honestly say that I’ve never had a moment that crossed the line for me.

There are times, in fact, when touching is a real and human response.  When you are delivering difficult news or requesting a favor that is going to require a huge effort, a brief touch on the shoulder or arm can be a powerful way to connect and create a bond.  As with all the other languages of appreciation, the way to tell whether touch will work for someone is to watch them in action.  If they’re a toucher, chances are they value touch in return.

A 2010 study published in the journal Psychological Science reported on a series of experiments involving touch. According to one study, 67 men and women were asked to choose between a cash payoff and a risky gamble and then touched on the shoulder and back by male and female researchers. The researchers Jonathan Levav and his co-author Jennifer Argo of the University of Alberta in Canada, found that “both sexes were more likely to select gambles with no guarantees of a payoff if they had been made to feel more comfortable, especially if touched by a woman.”  Apparently, what we feel when touched is deeply rooted in our collective psyches from infancy.

Adding just a moment or extra contact to a standard handshake can send a powerful bonding message.  The two-handed handshake or the shoulder pat during the handshake intensify the emotion you convey through an otherwise neutral gesture. When in doubt, choose the fist bump.  The Obamas made it cool in 2008.

Barak and Michelle Obama Fist Bump

 


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Congratulations Kris Barclay, Emerging Artist Showcase at Boots & Hearts 2018

    The 2018 Boots Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase, presented by Chevrolet Canada took over the Front Porch Stage to kick off the four-day country music festival... Read more

    The 17 August 2018 by   Phjoshua
    LIFESTYLE, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Friday Q&A: Sesamoiditis and Yoga

    Friday Q&A: Sesamoiditis Yoga

    Q: I've been recently diagnosed with sesamoiditis. My normal dynamic sequence of standing poses and sun salutations is awkward and/or painful so I've mainly... Read more

    The 17 August 2018 by   Ninazolotow
    FITNESS, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING
  • The Mourning Hills (2014)

    Mourning Hills (2014)

    Director: R Todd Campbell Writer: R Todd Campbell (Screenplay) Starring: Chelsea Bryan, Carol Jean Wells, Joe Fredo, Eric Gebhardt, Isabella Handley, David... Read more

    The 17 August 2018 by   Newguy
    CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES
  • Video: Racing Across South America on a Bike

    A couple of days back I shared videos of a bikepacking journey across South America. (Part 1 and Part 2) But for a completely different way to bike across that... Read more

    The 17 August 2018 by   Kungfujedi
    OUTDOORS
  • FREEBIE: Save on Advair & Other GSK Meds (US)

    FREEBIE: Save Advair Other Meds (US)

    Sign up and receive money-saving offers and tips to help manage your asthma.You may be eligible for a coupon to help reduce the cost of ADVAIR. Read more

    The 17 August 2018 by   Catherine Mcdiarmid-Watt
    FAMILY, FINANCE, SHOPPING
  • Pink and Blue Babble Boxx: Products for Mama and Baby

    Pink Blue Babble Boxx: Products Mama Baby

    This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com. Anyone else love trying new products?! I love hearing about new things and even more so when they’re things I... Read more

    The 17 August 2018 by   Thesamanthashow
    LIFESTYLE, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Airbus A350-900, Asiana Airlines

    Airbus A350-900, Asiana Airlines

    @ San Francisco, CA June 2018 This Asiana A350 is on final approach to SFO after a long flight from Seoul, Korea. Asiana has been operating the A350 since... Read more

    The 17 August 2018 by   Htam
    PHOTOGRAPHY, SOCIETY

Magazines