August 9, 2010 / 9:00 AM / 9 years ago

Management Tip of the Day: Know the value of a pat on the back

Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) (L) gets a pat on the back from Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) after their presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, October 15, 2008. REUTERS/Charles Dharapak/Pool

BOSTON (Reuters) - The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and ( Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

“An abundance of studies have demonstrated the power of touch on everything from Rhesus monkeys to students in a classroom. A pat on the back or a brief touch on the shoulder can express support and reassurance, making the recipient more willing to take risks and improving his decision making. Next time you want to communicate support to a colleague, convey your intention through a small touch. Often times, contact can be more powerful than words. Use touch sparingly though, and don’t linger; it only takes a brief moment of contact; any longer can feel creepy.

- Today’s Management Tip was adapted from “An Effective (and Underused) Way to Reassure and Motivate” by Peter Bregman.

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