Work Environment Communication Issue
Communication in the workplace is vital to the production of each employee. There are many different forms of communication. There is traditional speaking, nonverbal, and touch. Have we gone too far in the office or boardroom? When can touching be appropriate? The subject of touching is almost taboo! No one wants to talk about it. In our opinion, it needs to be approached. If you touch someone at work it can be misunderstood, and all too often it is.
However, there are many ways you can touch and it is not misunderstood. For example, there is the handshake. When you meet someone, as a form of greeting, you tend to shake their hand, as well as when saying good-bye. From this stems even the different forms of handshake depending on the extent of touching. For example, there is the plain handshake, the handshake with the other hand involved somewhere on the arm of the hand you are shaking, and the handshake with the other hand covering the shake, all of which have different meanings and levels of intensity.
Then there is the congratulatory hug. This occurs when a co-worker has accomplished something and a hug may be in order. This is usually a female tendency since a co-ed hug seen without explanation could indicate romance and two men hugging is out of the ordinary and could also be misconstrued. Support touches usually happen when it is a one-on-one setting, mostly like in counseling, family, or church maybe when a person is having a hard time. Playful touches tend to happen when the atmosphere is more relaxed. A light punch on the arm or a shoulder grab, perhaps. The list goes on and on. These touches are all permissible in the work place.
When is touching not...