The Harvard Business Review Management Tip of the Day talked about how powerful an appropriate pat on the back can be with employees. They reminded us about an abundance of studies demonstrating 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. 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.