Hugs Versus Handshakes

It’s a very touchy-feely industry.  It’s… hospitable.  And so is a hug an appropriate greeting or closing to a business meeting?  I’m finding more and more that it is.  And is there anything more awkward than one party moving in for a handshake and the other moving in for a hug?  Usually the next step is that the parties switch so that the initial hugger extends his or her hand and the initial shaker opens his or her arms up for a hug.  Or worse, the two parties continue moving in the direction so that the initial shaker has now stuck his or her hand into the gut of the initial hugger!  And who has more egg on their face – the person who misjudged the relationship and extended a hand or the person who opened their arms? 

Regardless, few other industries face such dilemmas on a daily basis.  I can’t imagine oil tycoons are doing much hugging these days.  I certainly didn’t hug my car salesman!  Do we hug our doctors?  Our teachers?  Our lawyers?  Our accountants?  I like that I’m in an industry where we form relationships that extend beyond the handshake.  It’s a people industry, and people hug.

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