Walking meetings help teams to work and communicate better
Next time you have a team meeting think about doing it on the move as a walking meeting. It will be good for you, your colleagues and the team dynamic. Here’s why.
1. Your team will click
Sitting around a table is better than chatting on the phone. You can look at each other and pick up the non-verbal signals. But walking together is even better than a face to face sit down. You still have the non-verbal communication but you are alongside each other rather than face to face. That feels less confrontational and allows a softer, closer and more relaxed interchange. The air, the distractions of the walk and freedom to move within the walking group all further help to take the pressure off the meeting.
2. Something ‘buzzy’ will happen.
Someone (or something) will do or say something that creates a buzz. You might spot something on your walk that makes you laugh or bump into someone unexpected. One of the group might tell you something they would never have mentioned in a team sit down meeting. The informality of a walking meeting encourages a more open and honest chat.
3. “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” (Nietzsche)
Problem solving is best done on the move. Walking helps creativity.
A Stanford University study found a person’s creativity increased by an average of 60% when people walked rather than sat. Imagine how much better your business might be if you harnessed that creativity resource. The Stanford study also suggested creative output also remained higher after walking.
4. Do more (good work) when you’re back at your desk
The Standford study also suggested a prolonged benefit, after we stop walking. It makes sense. Our heart rate increases, blood pumps and feeds the brain and muscles. After we stop, that continues for a while. We stay in the zone for a period after we get back to our desks.
A great article in the New Yorker discusses the connection between walking, thinking and writing.
“writing and walking are extremely similar feats, equal parts physical and mental. When we choose a path through a city or forest, our brain must survey the surrounding environment, construct a mental map of the world, settle on a way forward, and translate that plan into a series of footsteps. Likewise, writing forces the brain to review its own landscape, plot a course through that mental terrain, and transcribe the resulting trail of thoughts by guiding the hands.”
5. People will want to do it again
People will want to do it again. Okay, maybe not everyone (at first) but most people. How many times are you sat in a board room waiting for a colleague to arrive. People phoning said colleagues desk…is X coming…where’s Y. People arriving late, or not at all. People having to leave early. All signs people don’t value the meeting and don’t want to be there.
Walking meetings can help you to get the whole team to the meeting, on time, engaged for the whole meeting.
6. It’s free
Assuming toll bridges and coffee shops are avoided!
Inspired you to have a team meeting on the move? I hope so. Post a comment below on how you got on.
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