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Why you should walk & talk

Have you ever been on a walking meeting? What am I talking about do I hear you say? In essence, it is rather than sitting in a room or discussing in a café – you go for a walk to discuss your topic of choice.

Why would you do this? Well, the reason I like to do it is because – when you walk & talk the meeting has more energy, you are engaged in words, you can be more creative and maybe more honest plus you are exercising. Walking & talking breaks up your day and it changes your perspective.

From my limited exposure to psychology I understand when you discuss difficult subjects whilst sitting down you mirror the persona of the person in the room, by walking & talking you are releasing endorphins and this can mean difficult subjects can easier to discuss.

I recall a sub-ordinate whom only had a dotted line to me had a very tough role, we use to go walking to ‘talk out’ how he could overcome the daily and weekly issues that he would be presented with – it really helped.

It does not work for every meeting, if you have detailed content such as items to present – it won’t work – feel free to try!

What meetings work for me? Well, some mentoring meetings can work well – not every one but potentially every second or third. Catching up with your peers or superiors for your bi-weekly or monthly one-on-one.

How do you start? Look for a meeting during your day where you can easily walk & talk. Respect the fact that the person is wearing the right footwear and their health. Even if they are OK to walk & talk be careful of your pace so you don’t exhaust them. Give some consideration of the circuit, e.g. 2 – 4 blocks will take 15 – 20mins.

Finally, many of us have stressful jobs – going for a walk allows for a re-set during the day and can be an excellent de-stressor !

Are you interested in reading more? See the following from Stanford, HBR and others on the topic. I would love to hear your views and stories so please comment, cheers.

 

Stanford study finds walking improves creativity

How to do walking meetings right

7 Powerful Reasons to Take Your Next Meeting for a Walk

Why walking meetings can be better than sittings meetings

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One comment on “Why you should walk & talk

  1. Great reminder Richard. Reading autobiography of Gandhi and he used to do walking meetings often. And my ex-work colleague, James Murphy used to encourage us to do this. Worked really well when we weren’t having these 30 degree Sydney days.

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