On Walking Meetings
The new conference room in the business world
The walking meeting is the new conference room in the business world. Instead of meetings filled with not-so-subtle phone glancing, watch checking and daydreaming try taking your meeting outside to increase productivity!
The benefits of a meeting on the go are countless, with the most obvious being a chance to get out of the office and get moving. Walking alongside someone fosters a more relaxed atmosphere that leads to more authentic conversation. Another major positive to the walking meeting is that you are less likely to be interrupted by coworkers or work tasks when you are not in the office. It gives you the opportunity to focus on the topic at hand with fewer distractions.
Four Easy Steps (pun intended)
1. Set up a meeting place or a starting point.
Whether you choose to meet and grab coffees to go or you do a loop of a local walking trail, make sure the time it takes to walk that location is fitting for the time needed for the meeting. A trail that takes 60 minutes is not a good choice if the meeting is only scheduled for 30.
2. Know your audience.
Set a walking pace that is comfortable for every person involved. It’s ok to motivate slow walkers, but try to maintain a pace that keeps everyone moving without causing undue stress or a high level of exertion. Attention should be on the content of the meeting, not on trying to keep up with speed-walkers!
3. Come prepared.
A more informal setting should not equal a disorganized meeting. Be prepared ahead of time with an agenda of topics that need to be covered as well as a way to remember what was discussed—bring along a small pocket-sized notebook to jot down key words, something to record the conversation with or sit down immediately after to write a 5-minute summary.
4. Send a recapping email later in the day to the other party.
This makes sure the other person felt heard and to ensure important information did not get lost or forgotten.
Remember: moving employees are happier employees!