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Communicating Through Touch

Posted 6 years ago

Communicating through touch is something that both professional boundaries and advances in communication technologies are eliminating from our lives. Behavioral expert Steven Sisler discusses the important emotional framework behind touch and how this vital sense is still desperately needed — now, more than perhaps ever before.

Communicating through Touch

by Steven Sisler

The power of touch is something we are becoming less and less familiar with in this culture. Those who’ve taken the time to learn about and appreciate others are more often than not masters of touch. I entered a men’s room a few days ago in Washington DC where I didn’t have to touch anything. I didn’t touch the toilet, the towels or the faucet. All I touched was the water and the soap that was automatically dispensed by my movement. Part of our cultural problem today like the public bathroom is the lack of touch. We’re becoming a touch-less society—no hugs allowed.
Employers are disallowing personal touch in the workplace even though it’s oftentimes appropriate. People are more focused on being professional and less focused on being personal today. We are spending more and more time messaging electronically and less time engaging face-to-face as we are wired to do—we are hard wired for deep connection. Many will email even though their receiver in in the cubical next to them.
With the advent of the electronic message upon us, we are steadily moving away from the original instant messaging system—touching, feeling, and directly communicating through the human senses. This is going to backfire on all of us. I was in the airport about four years ago and noticed a great Dentyne® advertisement in one of the terminals. It was a little sign on the wall showing a woman stepping towards a taxi while whispering sweet nothings into a gentleman’s ear. The caption read; “The original instant message.” Always remember that we have nerve endings for two reasons—to feel pain and to experience comfort. Pain is good because it protects us from body damage and comfort is good because it protects us from emotional damage.
“Marasmus” is the medical term for the destructive force that infants encounter when they are not given sufficient touch within the first few weeks of life. A small infant will die if the child does not receive the right amount of physical touch from its caregiver during this crucial period. This is true in every culture on every continent of the earth. People die for lack of touch. This hands-off mentality that’s been creeping into our society as of late is not only killing our children, it’s killing our employees in our companies as well. Too many people have bought into the idea that touching is somehow a new cultural taboo. Touching is not always optional; it’s essential to life, love, and healing. Without communicating through touch, life will have no meaning.


Steven Sislercommunicating through touch is a behavioral profiler and the lead analyst for The Behavioral Resource Group. His consultations include personality difference, leadership strategy, cultural difference, spiritual growth, and temperament strategy. Working with clients in more than 18 nations, Steve gathers behavioral and attitudinal information on individuals within corporate and personal settings to develops strategies for effective leadership, teamwork and entrepreneurial success.
Steven is also the author of six books, including The Freedom of Being.
Steven is a highly entertaining and enlightening speaker, who frequently lectures on the subjects of Communication, The Emotional Framework, The Power of Imperfection, Post-Modern Influence, Attitudes & Values, Spiritual Difference, Leadership & Self-Understanding, Behavioral Language, Personality Difference, and the Maven Way of Management.
Learn more about Steven and watch a short video HERE!