I know this theme has already been discussed, but I would like to ask for exact advice for my exact situation.
I am an Eastern-European lady living in Germany and working as a software consultant. My client is a Chinese man, let's call him Chen. We have been working for half a year together and will probably continue working for quite a while.
He touches me - not in a sexual way, but just touches different body parts with his hands in a non-offensive way, like patting me on the shoulder. I have very specific feelings about touching in general and will only allow specific people to touch me. I find this behaviour very unprofessional and I honestly just HATE being touched by him. I don't want his hands anywhere near me. But this person has absolutely no feeling of tact (with words as well), and no matter how far I push myself from him (physically), he still comes up to me and touches me.
I do understand that probably the only solution is going to be telling him directly. My problem is, how and when do I tell him that in order for him to actually understand it and not get offended? We have had multiple talks about our communication so far, and from them I can tell I have to be very clear and also very careful. So the wording and the concrete moment/situation when to say it is what I am looking for.
- One detail I forgot to mention. I am not the only one working on this project from my company, but I am the main contact for this particular person, Chen. And there are several of my colleagues that I do allow to touch me. Normally there is no situation where Chen will see this, but it is possible that that might happen.
- Answers to questions:
a. About consequences. Well, my point is that I am trying to avoid them;) The consequences that I see possible is him getting sour and making my work with him even less enjoyable. At the very worst it might end our cooperation, which I would like to avoid, because I like the project in general, but I very much doubt it might get there in this case.
b. I got it about the workplace.SE. Thank you. I guess you are right. I'm sorry, I just haven't used it before.