Walking meetings are nothing new, but they are becoming trendy for great reasons.
The most famous walking meeting is the historic walk that Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev took at the 1985 Geneva Summit. It's been said that after many failed attempts to come to shared agreements, Reagan invited Gorbachev to walk with him and that walking meeting was the turning point to end the Cold War.
Taking walking meetings with coworkers, clients, and new connections can make a big impact on the effectiveness of your conversations and outcomes. Imagine for yourself how much better walking together is versus sitting in chairs at the office, or a coffee shop, looking at each other from across a table.
Walking; it's not just for in person meetings. Try walking outside for some of your phone meetings.
In one of my recent walking meetings we walked from lower Queen Anne to the Elliot Bay waterfront and back. Just imagine how different a meeting goes when you're smelling the sea air, feeling the sea breeze, looking at a beautiful city, looking at a beautiful body of water, feeling the sun on your skin, and enjoying a stimulating and productive conversation. It's awesome.
Here are the top 10 reasons why you'll benefit from taking more walking meetings whenever possible:
10. Being outdoors inspires your creativity.
9. Walking side by side rather than facing each other directly creates a sense of collaboration rather than competition.
8. You are getting great exercise while being productive in your job.
7. Being in neutral territory produces collaboration.
6. It's healthier than sitting.
5. Getting out of the office and taking a break from sitting at your desk makes you more refreshed when you go back to work.
4. You are creating memorable moments by doing something unusual on an unpredictable walking route. This shared experience will deepen your relationships.
3. You will reduce your stress levels.
2. It's fun.
1. You'll be happier.
My walking meetings have taken me down roads I would not have explored, including enjoying the waterfront while working. Even if your meetings aren't as important to world peace as Reagan and Gorbachev's, there are plenty of benefits to making your next meeting a walking meeting.