The High Five Culture

I have a a checkered past with high fives. To me, high fives were something that bros did. They seemed overly masculine and something owned by the jock culture, so I stayed really far away from them.

But then something happened last year, I started to kind of like the idea of the high five. It’s a celebratory action, you can use it for small things, big things, you can use it for nothing at all and the moment becomes celebratory. It’s pretty amazing really. I decided I was changing my thinking about the high five.

In early 2015 I picked up my family and moved from SLC to the bay area for reddit. I was in a leadership position there and we were going through a difficult time as a company. Moving people around is really hard and emotional and bringing teams together is equally hard. Compounded with some things going on with the site then, it was a trying time. So, I decided we should have a high five culture. What this meant to me was that as I was walking around, in our big office, as I walked by people I would randomly give them a high five. I figured they wouldn’t know why, but you don’t ever give someone a high five for something negative, so, it was just a simple small gesture saying something good to someone that I might not even know.

It never took off. I don’t know why, maybe high fives seem douchey to everyone. Maybe people didn’t really like me there. Maybe I didn’t have enough time to really work it into the culture, as I left reddit a few months later.

I haven’t tried the high five culture here at Imzy, mostly because it reminds me of hard times, but I still stand by the intention.

What do you think? Ever had anything like this at your office? Think it would be fun to try? What are your general feelings on high fives?

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