Walk and talk meetings: what’s the point?

 

The walk and talk meeting – have you tried it yet?

If not, you really should give it a go. You’ll feel refreshed, relaxed and be able to think far more clearly.

But there’s more to it than that…

 

Successful business people walk and talk

 

While I was off work sick, I had plenty of time to think and develop my own business (see my last post for detail). So I started doing a bit of snooping (my partner refers to it as ‘professional stalking’) to find out what successful business people do.

Turns out many of them hold ‘walking’ or ‘walk and talk’ meetings. Steve jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Barack Obama were early adopters of the practice. And there are hundreds of articles on why nature and walking are so good for you.

 

My first walk and talk experience

 

So I decided to try the walk and talk meeting myself. Could this be something worth promoting?

Last November I met Susan Hammond at Rushden Lakes for a 1-2-1 over coffee and a stroll round their nature reserve. We did the walk first and coffee after, but with your own coffee cup (eco-friendly of course) there’s no reason why you couldn’t combine the two.

We began at an oddly modern but environmentally conscious shoreline pier, peppered with wildflower gardens and reed sculptures. And as we walked the landscape came into its own – the calm, glassy lake surrounded by fiery, autumnal trees.

The air carried the smell of freshly fallen leaves. And although the recent rainfall had drowned some of the low-lying vegetation, fungi, moss and lichen still gave flashes of green to brighten the soul.

Within minutes nature had taken hold and released our minds from the stresses of the world, and our conversation flowed freely. Neither of us batted an eyelid when the other exclaimed excitedly over a giant beaver or snake sculpture popping out of the undergrowth! And there was even time for a quick climbing frame break – after all, what’s a business meeting without a slide!?

After 30 minutes walking, without the constant distraction of technology and society, we were both able to develop ideas and solutions for our businesses.

 

Benefits of the walk and talk meeting

 

If you think a walk and talk meeting is just a bunch of people distracting themselves from what really needs to be done, you’re right in some ways. We all need a break to function properly. But it was also a highly fruitful time, and not just for me…

“The best part… My mind cleared and this turned into the most productive part of my week!” – Susan Hammond, my walk and talk partner

Why?

Well, being outside, away from everything, settles your mind, lowers your stress levels and allows you to rejuvenate. It happens quickly, with long lasting effects. And meeting together surrounded by nature lets your mind focus without thousands of distractions.

As modern humans, we easily get stuck in autopilot and our brains absorb information from too many places at once. This causes us to miss important parts of the things we do want (or need) to concentrate on.

But prehistoric us worked outdoors, in nature. Ideally so should we.

Realistically working outside 100% of the time isn’t possible for most businesses, but if you can get out for a walking meeting every so often, I wholeheartedly encourage it. By combining green spaces and work you’ll thrive naturally.

 

Have you tried a walk and talk meeting yet? What was your experience? Where did you go? Or would you like to know more about how these meetings can benefit you? Please leave a comment – I’m very happy to help.