I cannot take credit for a sassy title. In a fantastic realisation by a number of Social Neuroscience experts at the National University of Singapore (Annett Schirmer, Keng Soon Teh, Shuo Wang, Ranjith Vijayakumar, April Ching, Darshini Nithianantham, Nicolas Escoffier & Adrian David Cheok) have proof that physical touch influences our ability to empathize with and support the toucher.
You can checkout the detail in their paper, but what I found interesting is that even a mechanical touch triggered this behaviour. A single audio tone has no improvement, but I wonder if certain melodies would?
From an Agile perspective – what can we learn from this? Harassment and discrimination laws discourage the use of inappropriate touching. This has pretty much lead to a social behaviour of fear to touch in case of it being considered inappropriate. But now we know that touching can enhance our ability to both empathize and to support, should we not try to utilise this?
What if we had a team agreement to hold hands whilst doing a daily standup? Or take it back to basics – really do a Scrum ‘huddle’ at our stand up.
What forms of appropriate touching can we introduce in our Agile practices to utilise this further?