[Video] Should We Still Be Shaking Hands?

[Video] Should We Still Be Shaking Hands? 1080 1620 Jason Lauritsen

I don’t know about you, but as more people get vaccinated, the world seems determined to make its way back to normal.

In some ways, this is comforting. But I’m feeling a little unsettled.

Amidst the terribleness of the pandemic, we were forced to stop and change things about how we live and work. In many cases, this was for the better.

I’m worried that if we aren’t thoughtful and intentional in the coming months, the positive things we’ve learned and gained will be lost.

I had an experience recently that brought this into sharp focus for me.

It involved handshakes.

I talk about it and what I think we are called to do right now in this video.

  • Nancy


    I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather. I lost my dad a few months ago so that, in addition to the pandemic, has really got me thinking about intentionality.

    You said it in your message…it’s time for all of us to slow down, be more intentional and ask, What is truly serving me? What do I want to keep and what do I want to let go of? Simply rushing back to “normal” (whatever that means) won’t work any longer because we are not who we were 18 months ago.

    I hope that leaders and corporations take heed to this message. Things are not the same and that’s not a good or bad thing…it just is. So listen to your employees, listen to yourself, and be intentional moving forward.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking video!

  • Richard Eagan

    Hi Jason,
    Each of us is now doing battle to understand what we want to hold onto post pandemic. Our processes have changed and we have grown: we now know better ways to accomplish our work and still have better moments with our families and more time with our families. I am working to remain as remote as possible in my work with 2 days of in office time to help with collaboration. The old ways need to be respected but we need to realize as managers that we mostly just want what we feel is normal because we feel we can better control that setting. Change management must be our biggest tool as we establish what our lives look like at work. Everyone is seeking something different but I do not believe that anyone is really looking for what they had prior to March of 2020. We all need to dig deep and push the envelope toward some discomfort to establish a new work-life condition.

    I am glad to see everyone’s smiles again.


  • Eryc Eyl

    Thanks for sharing these thoughts, Jason. First of all, I’m sorry for the loss of your grandfather, and I’m sending thoughts of strength and hope to your whole family during your journey through grief.

    Second, I think this message is vital. For the past year plus, I’ve been saying, mostly to myself, that the tragedy of the pandemic will be made even more tragic if we go “back to normal” afterward. I love the questions that you prompt us to answer, and I’m reminded of a practice that I borrowed from Patrick McGinnis and have done myself. It’s pretty close to your questions, and a close cousin of the classic start/stop/continue approach: (1) What did I stop doing during the pandemic that I don’t want to restart? and (2) What did I start doing during the pandemic that I want to continue doing? For example, I stopped driving all over the place to meet people for networking coffee/lunch/drinks, and I don’t plan to go back to doing all that driving. I also started FaceTiming with my daughter every single day, and I intend to keep doing that.

    The gravitational pull of past habits is fueled, I believe, by a desire for certainty (one of the big 5 human social needs). Because past habits, like shaking hands, are familiar, we think (likely unconsciously) that their outcomes are more predictable and certain. Those of us with privilege have lived with more uncertainty in the past year than we’re accustomed to, so it’s only natural that we’d crave certainty. Answering questions like the ones you propose allows us to feed that need for certainty while also ensuring that we don’t go “back to normal.”

    Thank you again!

  • Fred Eck

    Enjoyed your presentation and it made me think about handshaking, hugging, etc.

    Those actions have been near and dear to my style and personality in relationships.

    Like you, I am uncertain if I will pull back from those demonstrations of friendship. I am also seriously considering not going to events with large numbers of people I am not familiar with.

    Hoping that with vaccinations and common sense we can get back yo a state of normalcy.
    My wife and I are both vaccinated and encouraging our family and friends.
    Be well and safe!
    Best regards

  • Levene Griffiths

    Hi Jason

    My condolences to you and family at your loss.

    What will we do when we forget the benefits of a simple human touch? Isn’t this what makes our soul/emotions feel good? A simple touch – a handshake, hug, sitting near to friends and family members (outside you home) aren’t all this a part of the basic needs (belonging/acceptance) of human beings? Why is now an embrace lethal? I wonder about stuff like – will we continue to wear masks because some people will not vaccinate, or will they be forced to do so ‘for the greater good’? How much of our lives will governments dictate now that they know they can? Will we become less ‘warm’ and loose the richness of meeting persons outside of our family circle, for fear of catching a virus? And the big question – Is this Social Engineering?

    We are now conditioned to be conscious of our actions, that at one time was instinctive. It is scary to live in a society that no one embraces, when someone e hurts and need a hug, they are sent a virtual one. I was so sad a few days ago when I was at the store and a child fell (running all over the place) and I had to restrain myself from helping him up. Instead of picking him up and asking if he was alright, hushed and wiped the tears; I had to tell him it was okay and shouted for his mother. The power of human touch might be something we should consider keeping, for the future of a caring society.
    New and interesting times ahead indeed.

    • Jason

      Thanks Levene. Certainly a lot for us to consider and be thoughtful about. It’s a really strange time where, as you say, these instinctive acts have risen into our consciousness for consideration. My perhaps naïve hope is that we’ll just be more intentional about what we do and perhaps more grateful for the things that truly are affirming and important to our shared humanity.

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Jason Lauritsen