Touchy-feely in perspective

A colleague of mine made a request of the speakers in the room. She asked,

  • Can we drop the term touchy-feely? It denigrates the heart. 

I agree. And…

There are some who use the term touchy-feely to diminish any expression of tenderness. I call these the “touchy-feely phobic”. Any sign of caring is suspect. But there are some legitimate objections to inappropriate emotionalizing. I think of my Gen Y’s in my army training, who wanted their boomer managers to just let them do their work – and the boomer managers who reacted emotionally to that request. They just wanted to do their work. 

I think of my friend who responded to my request that she follow through on her promises, she told me that she cares about my heart and was sorry she had done something to hurt it. I just wanted to know what I could count on. 

And I think of some of the icebreakers and activities in training manuals that have no connection to outcomes.

I’m the first to defend relationship building, connecting emotionally and valuing people – effectively. In this video, Lanteck President Jim Lancaster talks about how they don’t have much “couch time”. He says they fix things and help people be successful because that’s what motivates them. 


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