How to hold a meeting while you walk
They have been championed by Steve Jobs, Sigmund Freud, Aristotle – and any character of note in The West Wing. Now walking meetings are now being prescribed by Public Health England (PHE) as a potential cure to chronic sedentarism. “Move more. Get up and walk about.
And I don’t just mean in the office,” reads PHE chief executive Duncan Selbie’s planned speech at the group’s annual conference this week, according to the Times. That’s all very well, Duncan, but let’s not march past reception without this vital guide to the art of the walk ’n’ talk.
Use it to brainstorm
Piles of research into the mental benefits of walking meet and
ings suggest that it does not encourage all forms of thinking equally. In one Stanford study, desk jockeys thought of 60% more uses for common objects while on a treadmill rather than at a desk. Walking is good for creativity, less helpful for “convergent thinking” – making decisions.
Have a destination
Pick a target. In one selfreferential
episode of the aforementioned US political drama, Josh and Sam paused a walk’ n’ talk when Sam asked: “Where are you going?” They had been following each other. Aimlessness is definitely not a good look.
Don’t bring the whole team
Walking is good but there is no sense in marching 10 abreast along a busy pavement. David Haimes, a senior product developer at Oracle, told the Harvard Business Review that side-by-side walking breaks down “organisational hierarchy” – but suggests a maximum of three people .