September 20, 2016
Life Hacks

Question: “How do I add a little life and new thinking to a one-on-one meeting?”

The Wall Street Journal had a great article about the Walk & Talk meeting concept. It’s something I’ve seen at a few larger corporations where I do leadership training, but it can be done in an organization of any size. Here are just a few advantages:

1. If you can do your walk outside, it broadens your perspective and connects you to the outside world.2. It helps add a new twist to discussing topics that you have addressed in the past.3. It makes you more creative, since you’re in a new place that can inspire new thinking.4. You have fewer interruptions so you can fully discuss the topic.5. Walking together creates a partnership between you and the other person.6. You are able to log fitness minutes and get it done during the work day!

I have always enjoyed doing Walk & Talks. I've done it with leaders in most of the organizations I’ve been a part of for the reasons you see above, especially the partnership approach as you walk beside them.It's best to do with one, two or three other people so that you can all hear each other’s comments. Walk the pace of the slowest person so that everyone can participate. Some people (such as me) may like to have a cup of coffee in their hand—whatever relaxes you and gets you in the mood to talk.One day I was doing a leadership training course and was at the point of the day where we were winding things up. I asked everyone to pair up, go outside and take a walk around the track on the perimeter of a football field that was next to the plant. I told them when they came back I wanted them to: Tell me the one thing that was most the most valuable nugget from the day, and What is the one thing they were going to do before our next session?This group took the assignment one step further. As they walked around the track they spread an idea to the people behind them. They decided each team of two would hold each other accountable for achieving what they wanted to complete before the next session. That's the beautiful thing about good leaders. Give them an assignment and they think of ways to make it even better.Come to think of it; every Walk & Talk I’ve taken helps me learn things from the person I’m walking with.So I guess my advice to you is: Take a hike… the Walk & Talk kind of hike. Keep a pair of comfortable shoes to wear during your Walk & Talks if you start to have several of them in a day.TODAY’S ACTION STEP:Schedule a Walk & Talk for within the next few days. See how effective it can be.

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