The High-Five

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Earlier this week I wrote about the use of High-Fives as a way to reinforce good habits by using a different form of recognition. Here is a passage from the book I am currently reading, Leaders Eat Last, which reinforces the effectiveness of the High-Five.

“Oxytocin is released with physical contact. That warm feeling we get when we hug someone for a few seconds longer, that’s oxytocin, it is also the reason it feels nice to hold hands with someone or the reason children seem to always want to touch & hug their mothers. In fact, there is lots of evidence that children who are deprived of human contact, deprived of sufficient doses of oxytocin, have trouble building trusting relationships later in life. It is also part of the reinforcing bond between athletes when they high-five. It reinforces the bond they share and the commitment they have to work together for their common goal.”

What is oxytocin? It is the chemical that makes us social beings. It encourages trust between others and acts of kindness. It is what helps keep the tribe together. Remarkably, it also reduces stress and boosts our immune systems. All the more reason to give someone next to you a big high-five or handshake in the morning and the next time they succeed.


high five by Keith Mulvin from the Noun Project

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