News Article: The business hug: Do you embrace it or not?

Here’s me in a Chicago Tribune story re: The business hug: Do you embrace it or not?

Collaboration and distance

Dan X. O’Neil ⇒, executive director of the Smart Chicago Collaborative, reserves hugs for close collaborators, and ones he doesn’t see very often.

He partnered remotely this summer with others via Slack, using the messaging platform to design a youth-led tech program. When they met in person after weeks of shared work, O’Neil greeted them with a hug.

“I think infrequency is the biggest thing — infrequency of contact but depth of work,” O’Neil said.

Gottsman, the etiquette expert, noted that virtual work tools and social media can cause a feeling of enhanced familiarity even among colleagues who don’t know each other well. That could make them more prone to hugging earlier in a relationship.

But it takes more than that for O’Neil to graduate beyond a handshake.

He noted that the custom of shaking hands is said to stem from the practice of making sure the other person wasn’t hiding a weapon up their sleeve.

“There’s a vulnerability, an exposure, an accountability” in a hug, O’Neil said. “It does matter, because if you allow someone to get close enough to hug you, they’re close enough to stab you.”