Take Steps to Run Better Meetings – Walk While You Talk
If you agree that breaking out of a stale routine is good for what ails your workplace, why don’t you inject physical activity into your business conversations to raise their energy level and encourage deeper engagement with the topic at hand?
AICPA blogger Arleen Thomas connected us to a recent Harvard Business Review article about the results you could get from taking meetings “for a walk” instead of convening in the same drab conference room you always use.
The HBR article cites our sedentary lifestyles as “this generation’s smoking habit,” by which the author means that we are setting ourselves up for elevated health problems by sitting all day in front of computers or in meetings (and all night, in front of the TV and other entertainment devices.) Blogger Thomas took this advice to heart, and started literally moving her meetings around to inject physical movement into her office routine. She found benefits not only in her personal wellness, but found that the change in venue raised the engagement of the meeting participants, deepened the thinking, and pushed the agenda forward faster. So the physical motion imparted forward motion to the decision-making process: A nice outcome.
Perhaps Bloomberg’s famous approach to meetings, in which participants stand, was a real improvement rather than just a gimmick! Perhaps they need to “take the next step” and start moving those meeting out onto the avenues of Manhattan!
And taking meeting for a walk is just one step to take. Blogger Thomas notes that research by organizations like the National Institutes of Health and Stanford University report multiple benefits of a “pro-exercise work culture”:
- Stronger morale, camaraderie and team spirit
- More positive, energized and confident employees
- Higher productivity levels
- Renewed inspiration for fresh ideas, creativity and innovation
- Reduced absenteeism and health care costs
- Increased employee loyalty and decreased turnover
Routines need shaking up to stir creative juices and re-engage employees in their work. One way to get that done is to add physical activity to the day as an integral part of building work relationships and getting minds to meet, as well as adding to the general health of the workplace.
- Does this idea conjure up a lot of different ways to add physical motion to your daily work routine?
- Could you take your own steps to make meetings more useful and deepen the conversations that occur?
- Are you going to try this out on the next nice day?
- Would you feel guilty about taking a walk instead of sitting in conference room?
Let’s hope this article will serve to deflect naysayers in the office, including your skeptical boss!