The word “meeting” has a negative connotation for many people. However, getting people in the same space (virtual or physical) is a requirement for getting some of our important work done. Humanergy’s always been a champion of “walk and talk” sessions during a meeting. The group breaks up into groups of two (maximum of three) and engages in a focus or topic as they walk. This technique is more than an excuse to get out of the room. “Walk and talk” is a powerful strategy when you want to boost creativity and get out of the meeting duldrums.
Russell Clayton, Chris Thomas and Jack Smothers give tips to make the most of “walk and talk” sessions at HBR.com, including ending at a value-added or inspiring location and not indulging in a giant hot fudge sundae on the outing. In addition to being all for a small hot fudge sundae once in a while, Humanergy also advises:
Group intentionally. Pair people to make the most of diverse perspectives and help people get to know each other.
Think “achieve.” Be clear about what you need to achieve from the “walk and talk” time. Otherwise, you may get friendly chit-chat and few results.
“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”(Henry Thomas Buckle.) “Walk and talk” time allows your people to use their great minds to discuss ideas and get some much-needed fresh air and exercise at the same time!
Need to think (and discuss) great thoughts? Tell us about them.
Photo from Dollar Photo Club
And, as I reflect on gender differences in communication, men often prefer a “side-by-side” conversation, so a walk-and-talk is a great way to keep lines of communication open between team members–men and women.