“‘Steps’ to Having a More Interesting Meeting” by Patricia Terstenyak

     The other day at work I grabbed a coffee mug from the cabinet; the inscription reads “I’m on my way to a MEETING to discuss what we MET about at our last MEETING”.  This got me thinking, I really attend a substantial amount of meetings.  Is there a way to make meetings more interesting? More engaging? More active?

     A relatively new concept is a walking meeting.  You and your coworkers simply walk and talk. Nilofer Merchant discusses this topic in her TED Talk.  Merchant is a business innovator and understands organizational values.  We have heard the many health benefits of walking – it’s low impact exercise, can help lower blood pressure and can help reduce stress.  What’s the benefit for the organization?  For starters, a walking meeting can help eliminate interruptions from others and distractions from your computer and smart phone.  Walking meetings can help with relationship building and can increase listening skills. Merchant stated, “walk and talk…you’ll be surprised at how fresh air drives fresh thinking.”

     There are many walking meeting guides available online, one mentions to have a scribe, someone to jot down notes on a small note pad.  I am not sure if that will always work, we don’t want to have any injuries during these meetings.  Another consideration is the topic of discussion.  A walking meeting is not ideal for disciplinary matters or negotiations.  To help you get started, two guides can be found here and here.

     Have you had a walking meeting?  How did it go?

     These walking meetings can take place inside or out is preferred since you get the benefits of fresh air and your surrounding neighbors get to see you as much as you see them. 

Isn’t that a cool way to build community?

     I have not had an official walking meeting yet.  I have had stimulating conversations with coworkers while walking to get a cup of coffee.  For my next check-in with my director, I will be requesting for it to be a walking meeting.