How to make Walking Meetings Work + Walking Wednesdays at @Shecosystem

Friends

We found this article on our friend YouInc’s site and thought you would find it as useful as we do. I had just recently read an article about way to eliminate procrastination by coupling activities you put off with ones you love.  I am not a fan of meeting in general but if I can couple it with an activity I like such as walking then the outcome is win win for everyone. After meeting face to face with clients I always feel better – it is stressful talking time out of my day but once I get out and connect with someone I like and share a similar passion with then the time away from the office is well worth it.

Here’s how you can make time for living health and reduced entrepreneur isolation by conducting a walking meeting:

Why? Being cooped up in an office all day when the weather is perfect can feel extra cruel, not to mention distracting.

Fresh air is a known mood booster, and physical activity tends to spark new ideas. So it’s no surprise that a number of people are trying “walking meetings” as a way to be more active while still getting the work done. The math is compelling: Turn two 30-minute meetings per day into walking meetings, and you’ll score five hours of aerobic exercise per week. That’s double what the CDC recommends.

People who’ve tried walking meetings also note that there are benefits beyond physical ones. “A meeting room is all about business,” says Chris Kay, managing director of the Los Angeles office of 72andSunny, an advertising company. He says of walking: “I think it knocks down a barrier. It’s quite personal. You’re just having a chat with someone.” You stay connected, even if the conversation is open, honest, or intense.

But just because the walking meeting has a lot going for it doesn’t mean it can replace all meetings. There are logistical challenges. Here’s how to make a walking meeting work:

Plan The Route For The Length Of The Meeting

First, think through some good routes. Beth Kanter, a social media and nonprofit expert who frequently advocates for walking meetings, recommends plotting out walks that are the typical length of calendar slots: 15 minutes, 30 minutes, maybe even a 60-minute one. Avoid noisy or crowded areas if you can. Sometimes it helps to have a destination (hesitant types might be more amenable to “walking to get coffee” than just “walking”). And check the weather. If it’s unpleasant enough that the weather will be a distraction, you’re better off indoors.

Walking Meetings Work Best For One-On-Ones

Julian Berman, director of platform engineering at digital ad tech company Magnetic, says, “Anytime people aren’t walking astride, they’re going to break off onto other tracks.” In most places, it’s pretty hard to walk more than three abreast without ticking off anyone else on the sidewalk. A nine-person meeting would quickly become three three-person meetings. So the best options for walking meetings are regular one-on-one meetings with direct reports, or informal catch-up sessions. Kay says he likes to interview candidates on walks. “I think you can have a more open conversation,” he says, hopefully easing what is often a stressful encounter. “The lack of formality is helpful.”

Mind Your Partner’s Pace

Unless agreed to in advance, think pleasant stroll, not Olympic speed walking. You’re probably wearing business clothes. The goal is not to break a sweat. (Save that for “sweatworking”: See “Networking Is Over. Welcome Sweatworking?“)

Read more on Youinc


Women in Biz Network and Shecosystem invite you to get healthy and happy with us! Join us every Wednesday at Shecosystem for a walk in the Bloor & Christie neighbourhood. Enjoy some laughs, get some fresh air and watch your network expand!

Timing/Location: We will meet at 10 am at inside Shecosystem at 703 Bloor Street where we will enjoy an opening circle and from there we will go for a walk for up to 1 hour.

Want to work from Shecosystem for the day? Free to purchase day-pass for $25 for WIBN Members and
for Non-Members for $30

Why should you join us:

  • Working in isolation is lonely, so getting to know other like-minded business owners & professionals expands your support network.
  • Sitting at you desk all day isn’t good for your creativity, health, productivity or sanity!
  • When you spend time with other business owners and professionals you get “known” and more opportunities open up for you.

2 Responses to “How to make Walking Meetings Work + Walking Wednesdays at @Shecosystem”

  1. While walking meetings are great for one-on-one networking and relationship building or meetings where you don’t need to project information or take digital notes, group walking meetings are great for team brainstorming. Also, a number of CEO’s use standing group walking meetings — every Wednesday at 1 pm meet at the door for 20 minute walk – for employee engagement. I prefer to say that for those getting started with walking meetings, start with a one-on-one because group meetings require slightly more culture change and a few more logistics. Here’s some tips http://www.bethkanter.org/npwalk-5tips/

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