Hugging Professionally?

October 9, 2006 - Get free updates of new posts here

I had a walk with my friend Nancy on Saturday and we got to discussing hugging. I think hugs are fun and remember my first one from a girl in junior high school. In trying to take business relationships to friendships I started wondering when can you hug a business friend. Hand shakes are definitely cool but sometimes you just want to give more.

snoopy hugging

I was thinking if I offered a hug but got rejected how awkward that would be. “When is it okay to hug a new person?”

Bonus: If you haven’t seen this touching free hugs video you need to.

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14 responses to “Hugging Professionally?

  1. Devin Reply

    Americans and their personal space… I don’t know when it’d be appropriate in a ‘professional’ setting. On the other hand, if you only tried to hug me I’d wonder why you were holding back.

  2. Damon Zuman Reply

    When I move to the states about 8 years I thought hugs were very akward. The first time, I thought my friend was trying to push me :). Where I came from, we greet women with kisses on the cheek and men with handshakes (not the complicated ones). Although I eventually got used to hugs, it’s still a little bit weird… In my opinion a hug is very personal, more personal than a kiss because you’re standing so close.

    I guess it’s a cultural thing.

  3. Steven Ametjan Reply

    I think a lot of when to hug a business contact and when not to depends on how familiar you are with them. If you’d send them a personal invitation to your wedding, then you could probably get away with a hug, but if you wouldn’t, then don’t give them a hug.

  4. Shivani Reply

    hugging in a business relationship is always weird. it always throws me off. i think when you get personal…like actually talking about real life vs. just business, or when you meet up just to hang out vs. talking about work, then a hug starts to be okay.

    i remember the first time we hugged…damn, that was awkward 🙂

  5. Shivani Reply

    haha, i agree, noah. strangely enough, even after all this time, it still is really awkward…haha…maybe you should stop considering when to hug people, and just not do it at all 🙂

  6. Jason F. Reply

    Instant props for using a peanuts image to illustrate your point. But interestingly, I was at the career fair, and an iBanking friend extended a hug. That was refreshingly novel.

  7. Joseph Hunkins Reply

    I’m for hugs in business. In a small way I’d say it helps establish a form of relationship that builds trust, and I think you can actually “read” somebody better via hugs than handshakes.
    HugOgraphic Analysis … $2 per report.