Monday, June 04, 2007

Creating Buzz Tip #4: Hug Your Network

Here we enter an area of personal choice -- but if I might let me suggest a personal habit that will REALLY resonates positively with the people in your network. Give hugs.

People love to be hugged even though most will profess it makes them uncomfortable, but the discomfort does not come from being hugged. Most people I know agree that getting a hug (professional and appropriate) leaves them feeling special and individually appreciated. Most times the people I know state that their discomfort comes from not knowing how to receive a hug in business.

There is nothing that seals a bond between people faster than physical touch. In business, hugs ARE appropriate (in my opinion) if you have met with someone more than a few times, and of course, the friendship is coming along nicely. Maybe you are thinking that hugging is too personal. Well, I agree with part of that; It is personal. Or you might be thinking, there are some folks I am not ever going to hug. Period. OK… so don’t.

I can say from my own experience as an ‘on again-off again’ buzzed about person in my community that I shake a lot hands that turn into hugs. I have a lot of great, warm and caring business friendships. I don’t hug to get attention. I give hugs because it feels good. It turns out that hugs are very good for my buzz (people know you care = people buzz about those they care about).

I think the best example of how much this one thing works is when I meet with a group of business people, one or two that I know well, and one or more that I do not. Here is how it goes almost every time: I shake a hand, shake another, hug another, and shake the last hand. Almost EVERY time someone will comment, "How come I didn't get a hug!?"

Enough said.