I was having a glass of bubbles last night with an industry friend of mine and we got on the topic of exercise, the effect it has on our mental health and how to fit more of it in our day. We then got on the topic of how do we encourage our teams to achieve a better balance.
I told her about my ‘walk and talk’ philosophy. Like many people, I am time poor in amongst work, family and just generally doing life and there are so many people I would love to catch up with outside of my immediate circle but I just don’t have time or the inclination for ‘coffee and cake’.
So I have over the last couple of years, started ‘walk and talk’ sessions. I am fortunate to live near Sydney’s gorgeous Bay Run – a 7km circuit (approx. 70 min walk – 60 min if you have long legs ).
I am often seen there on a weekday morning first thing or weekend with a colleague or one of my team (past and present) chatting about all things – work and career development, blockages, life, triumphs, challenges – you name it we chat. And it is absolutely a two-way conversation!
It’s amazing when you mix fresh air and exercise – how easy the conversation flows. By the end of our walk and talks (and there is not a silent moment in that time), we are sure we’ve solved the problems of the world – or at the very least have a game plan for ourselves for the next week ahead. We feel refreshed, energized and have had an opportunity to catch up on life.
Catching up on life is so important for leaders to do with their teams. This is not about knowing their personal life in detail but understanding what makes them tick, will help you be a better leader and coach.
SO MY QUESTION OR CHALLENGE TO YOU IS..
Bringing this back into an office situation, how can you shake things up a little to engage with your teams in a more relaxed environment particularly weekly catch ups or brainstorms? I challenge you to all bring some comfortable shoes, and instead of catching up over coffee or in a meeting room with a notebook, put yourselves in an environment that is less corporate and more relaxed and have a walk and talk meeting.
I can guarantee your meeting will be a whole lot more productive and you will feel a hec of a lot better with all the endorphins running around your body.
And, if you would like to join me for a walk and talk session – let’s do it.