Daily Stretch #12: Conduct A Walking Meeting.


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The open office has been getting a lot of backlash. The once cool, collaborative and transparent space concept has lost its mojo.

Even former openness-advocates are now claiming back their private office.

Are we jumping from one fad to another way too fast? And missing the lesson? Open offices are not better or worse than closed ones. We need both.

Our moods, activities and goals determine the level of privacy, collaboration or openness. How we work should drive the way we use space.

The way we use space should not be rigid. Space is dynamic.

That’s exactly my proposal for today. Great things can happen when you change your meeting dynamics. Sometimes, you just need to get out. And walk.

Today’s stretch: conduct a walking meeting

Same as the open versus closed offices tension, walking meetings are not necessarily better. They can be a good choice depending on the type of work you want to accomplish.

I’ve conducted walking meetings my whole life. It always felt natural to me. Walking clears my head from distractions. My energy flows. I feel more focused.

Photo by Aleksandr Ledogorov on Unsplash

A walking meeting is not a fad. That is, if you practice it with a purpose.

Walking meetings create a deeper experience. They add humanity. Hierarchies and titles feel less of a burden. Teams relax when they walk as a group. Especially when they find a common pace.

Switching the space and the body position makes walking meetings so effective.

The pressure you put on your body when sitting down, makes your energy stuck. That’s why walking is good for your creativity. It boosts your blood circulation.

Today’s stretch: conduct a walking meeting.

Walk with caution

Be mindful: not every meeting is suitable for walking. They are not good for reviewing materials or decision-making as research shows.

Walk with a purpose: connect the physical activity with what you want to achieve. Walking lowers defense mechanisms. It creates intimacy. Making it perfect to get reactions to rough ideas or to discuss sensitive topics.

Use with discretion: don’t turn every meeting into walking ones. If they become the “new normal”, the boost factor will vanish.

Weather is not an excuse: rain or extreme cold are not real impediments. You can do a walking meeting in your office space or building hallway and still get the benefits.

Don’t get confused about the why: you are not going for a group exercise. That’s an added benefit. Have clear objectives for the meeting. Return to the office with a concrete outcome.

Stretch, reflect & grow

How did your team’s energy change when you took them for a walk?

How did the walking meeting help you accomplish your goal?

Which types would you rather do walking than in a conference room? Why?

Before You Go

Change happens one stretch at a time. Daily exercises to grow beyond your comfort zone.

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Improve your change fitness:

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