A 2013 article in the Journal of Managerial Issues on tactile interaction norms and positive workplace touch shows support that Klopp and Obama have the right idea about the benefits of touch. They cite research that managers who use it are seen as more sincere, effective, supportive and likeable. Indeed, that touch is a basic human need and can reduce anxiety, depression and enhance mood. The article also explains how touch can be used to reinforce or enhance a verbal message and improve interpersonal communication overall.
Of course, Klopp is German and Obama American, so is their level of comfort around touch related to their culture? An Infographic from UK based National Hug Your Boss day suggest that the UK isn’t one of the top 5 hugging countries with Brazil getting top spot, followed by Australia, Spain, Mexico and the USA. Yet, our own PM Teresa May came under fire in the UK for her ‘lack of humanity’ in response to the Grenfell Tower disaster in London, in contrast to Jeremy Corbyn who was on the ground meeting (and hugging) affected residents.