Drink in the Morning, Hug More at Work

Talk about putting the “social” in networking, Penelope Trunk has a great post up about the new hugging phenomenon at work (which she noticed because she was drinking in the morning, but you’ll have to read the story for more on that!).  She writes:

I get to work, and I am glowing. I walk into my office and the guy I’m meeting with is there, and I give him a huge smile and a huge hug. The kind you give someone on the fifth date, when you think you might marry him.

The thing is, before I realized what I am doing, the guy is hugging back.

And that’s why I never drink in the morning. Because only four sips leads to hugging insanity.

But I’ve met with that guy a bunch more times, and he has hugged me each time. Not like, let’s-do-something-inappropriate-later hug. But just sort of a nice, I-like-doing-business-with-you hug.

And I’ve been thinking about what this means at work, and then I read that Obama is hugging. Men. In the White House. Obama has made hugging co-workers cool by using the combination of a handshake and a one-armed embrace, which Time magazine has illustrated nicely for the uninitiated. (The genesis of this hug might be the hip-hop hug, which black men have been doing casually for years. But, according to Wikipedia, white men have been hesitant to embellish beyond a handshake.)

I have to agree with her.  There is a definite uptick in corporate hugging.  The handshake seems to have been demoted to first-meeting-only status.  For me, I love hugging – it’s so much more personal than a handshake.  It’s like social media in a way – warm and inviting, a little vulnerable but open to chance and possibility.

Anyway, if you have any interest in this phenomenon or just adding a good writer to your Google Reader – check out the post.  I heard Penelope speak at the 2008 PRSA National Conference and have since been victim to a massive girl crush – this woman is FANTASTIC in my book.

If Penelope worked with me, I think I would have to hug her just for writing so well.  Hope you enjoy her work as much as I do.

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