Meet & Walk & Talk
We’ve all sat through long meetings, feeling hot & stuffy and, no matter how interesting the subject matter, worrying that you might just nod off. How much better can you feel going out into the fresh air & (ever hopeful) sunshine?
As we spend a majority of the working day glued to a screen (& even more when we get home too), walking meetings may be more beneficial than ever before.
Have a meeting on the go doesn’t have to be a big commitment. It may take a little longer, but there are so many benefits.
The plus points
- Clearly, you get a bit of easy physical activity – helps your general health & immediately lifts your mood
- Can promote inspiration & even clarity just from being in a new setting
- It can help you focus (after all it’s difficult to walk & text)
- A slightly more relaxed setting can put staff at ease, allowing them to open up & connect
- It helps you connect with your local surroundings – if you experience things you appreciate them more
- Work relationships can be strengthened by shared activity.
Obviously I wouldn’t recommend a walking meeting when it’s tipping down with rain (although that could be refreshing!!).
Here are some top tips for planning your walking meetings:
- Plan the route, with defined start & finish points. This will help keep to time.
- Be flexible to avoid noise & distractions. Try an alternative route or just a quick detour down a quiet side street
- Limit spontaneous meetings to four people. Large groups work too, but these need extra planning.
- If it’s convenient, add a destination to your walk, whether to get an errand out of the way or take in a special view. People will feel more inclined to join you.
- Rather than a formal agenda, have a general itinerary in mind before the walk and use time and/or location benchmarks to guide discussion.
- Be aware of the time – keep it to 30 minutes or less, or you’ll all get tired.
- You may all have different walking speeds, so adjust your speed or gait to keep together. If you’re with a big group, try to let mini-groups form naturally.
- If you need to take notes, you can use your phone (e.g. note-taking apps available, like Evernote) or a good old notebook.
- If people need extra persuasion, you could tempt them with a coffee during the first outing.
Walking won’t be right for some meetings, but it might just be a fun, healthy & even productive thing to try.
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