LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

Should I Hug Tony?

This is a dilemma for me. In a few days, I'll see Tony Morgan for the first time since January. We'll be together at the Buzz Conference, and I'm starting to think about how I should greet him when I first see him.

Tony and I worked together for 8 years, wrote 3 books together, spoke live to more than 5,000 church leaders in 41 different workshops, traveled thousands of miles and sat in numerous hotel hot tubs together. So with the long-standing history that we have, what is appropriate?

Now I wouldn't normally think about it, but Tony has been clear about his aversion to hugging. In fact, I just did a quick search, and he has talked about hugging 10 different times on his blog--mostly about how he doesn't like it. In fact, he had a whole post about it called Don't Touch My Skin!

I'm trying to decide between a few different approaches when I see Tony on Wednesday evening...

  1. No hug...just an aggressive handshake. I'm really leaning away from this approach. I think our history suggests something more than a handshake. After all, I know whether he wears boxers or briefs. And yes, he knows the same about me.
  2. Sideways manly hug. If he has to hug, Tony has made it clear that he prefers this style. But surely that is for the volunteer he passes in the hall or the acquaintance he hasn't seen in awhile. Not for his long-time friend and cohort.
  3. Full frontal, two-armed hug. My aversion to hugging isn't as strong as Tony's, but I do have my standards. We won't be doing this one.
  4. Combined handshake with hug. You've seen this one. It's where you shake with your right hands and hug with your left, leaving your shaking hands squeezed between you so as not to get too close with your bodies. Then you give a manly pat on the back with the left hand a couple of times, then release. This one has some possibilities.

I'll let you know what I decide. If you have any thoughts, or can suggest even more approaches, leave me a comment.