Touch is a language; it is a skill that is more versatile than voice, facial expression, or other modalities for expressing opinion.
Nonverbal communication to relay our emotions and desires via our postures and expressions have been the subject of several researches for several years. DePauw University psychologist Mattew Hertenstein conducted a study to show how we have the innate ability to decode emotions by touch.
Participants of Hertenstein's study revealed a 78% accuracy for identifying and communicating eight distinct emotions including anger. fear. disgust, love, gratitude, sympathy, happiness, and sadness. The power of touch is beyond physical.
It may be used as a way to effectively communicate what we feel. It does not need to be social to be effective.
This was shown in the research done in the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.
It was shown that the brain is very good at distinguishing an emotional touch from a similar, but non-emotional, one. And the emotions that are communicated by touch can go on to shape our behavior. One recent review found that, even if we have no conscious memory of a touch—a hand on the shoulder, say—we may be more likely to agree to a request, respond more (or less) positively to a person or product, or form closer bonds with someone.
The language of touch is not to be underestimated as it may increase the speed of communication.
There have been a number of studies showing that servers in restaurants recive significantly higher tips (somewhere around 20%) when they appropriately touch a customer on the shoulder in a familiar way during service.
According to Laura Guerrero, coauthor of Close Encounters: Communication in Relationships:
If you're close enough to touch, it's often the easiest way to signal something. We feel more connected to someone if they touch us.
The right kind of touch may be used as an effective sales and communication tool. A touch may be done to placate a patient who is anxious about his condition, or it may be used to encourage a new customer to try out your product.
It is to be remembered that the power of touch is to be done with caution, bearing in mind that there are people who may not be comfortable with a stranger touching them. Nevertheless, the right gestures combined with a non-sexual touch can be one of your tickets to closing more sales deals.
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