Want to do something that promotes cooperation, shows appreciation, makes others feel recognized — and is free? Then today is your day!

The third Thursday in April — today — is National High Five Day, a holiday you may not have on your calendar, but one that has been celebrated since 2002. The High Five is one element of physical touch, and studies have found touch promotes cooperation and collaboration among those who receive it.  

I never gave much thought to the gesture, but apparently others have. There is a TEDx Talk by Doron Maman that includes the correct way to do a high five (watch the elbows of the other person, not their hand or eyes.)  

There are several variations of the high five, including the Baby Five (using one finger), the Air Five (no actual contact) or the Fist Bump. (read about others)  They even sell special devices that allow you to blast confetti from your hand when you high five someone — whether that be at a wedding, sporting event or party.

You may not want to walk into your boss’ office today and give her a High Five, but there are likely people around you who would appreciate the acknowledgement of their actions. It is hard to be demure when mutually giving someone a high sign, so you can infuse your environment with a festive spirit by participating in National High Five Day today. Just keep an eye on those elbows!

beth triplett

High Five to Natalie Keller Pariano for the research

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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