While perusing Facebook one night a few weeks back, I took note of a video that an old college friend of mine had posted. It was a talk given by corporate director and author Nilofer Merchant to an auditorium full of people about ‘walking meetings’. A topic that seemed so simple to me, yet so ingenious. I remember actually thinking to myself, ‘why the heck didn’t I think of that?!?’
We’ve all been there. It’s mid to late afternoon, your colleague wants to review that latest proposal and all of a sudden you get a case of the sleepies. You know what I am talking about….that 3 PM slump. You’re expected to come to the meeting fresh and ready to participate with great ideas, but you can barely keep your eyelids open.
The thought of sitting in a hot, stuffy conference room or an office with the door closed sends visions of counting sheep through your head.
Take that meeting outside. Yup, you read that right, take that meeting outside and start walking.
Walk the perimeter of your building, around the parking lot, heck, if you work in the city walk up and down the sidewalks with your colleagues. But take that meeting outside and just start talking. Being out in the fresh air will not only wake you up, but get the creative juices flowing.
Walking meetings promote a creative, productive and healthy work environment. Confidentiality is also another benefit, as no one else, other than those walking with you can hear your discussions. And you tend to be more relaxed. People feel that they can share ideas more freely out in the open air, making for an overall more productive discussion.
Walking meetings can be held any time of the day. First thing in the morning is a great time as well as it gets the body moving and the blood pumping.
Let’s face it, some of the best business deals and ideas happen when you least expect it, like on golf courses or while playing tennis, so why can’t the same be done when you get out and go for a walk?
Listen to Nilofer Merchant’s talk here.