Walking one to ones
I am a fan of walking. No matter the weather, no matter my mood, no matter my level of fitness, walking is something that I’ve always done. The fresh air and the connection with the outside world allows my thoughts to flow better. Feeling inspired by Simplyhealth’s ambition of focusing on everyday health, I have started to have walking one to one meetings with my team.
It started as a suggestion to my work colleagues, as I wanted to make sure the individuals in my team were interested. I got a very positive initial response but each having their own thoughts about walking and the practicalities of it. Some are really keen and are always up for walking. Others have agreed to try it as long as the weather is ok. Sometimes, depending on what needs to be discussed, being sat at a table ensures that we can both make notes and write down the actions we need to take after the meeting.
My observations so far is that, the meetings themselves feel like we’re on more of a level playing field. It’s two colleagues talking rather than a manager meeting with a staff member. The conversation flows more naturally as you’re side by side and I’m finding that we can discuss things more openly. You end up walking at a pace that is comfortable for both of you. For some this becomes quick strides and the conversation takes the same tone. For others it’s more of an amble which allows for thoughts to be articulated at a slower pace.
It’s still early days and I’m still ‘finding my feet’ in terms of the best way to run these meetings. There are challenges in terms of ensuring that important points are followed through. If it starts raining midway through a walk and you’re not prepared, you end up focusing on finding cover and staying dry. And sometimes, even if it’s a nice day, you end up in a café with a cup of coffee. It’s all about flexibility and working with my team on which mix of one to one meetings work best for that individual.
The point is, to take time during the working day to allow for movement, stretching of the legs and lungs is so important. I firmly believe that most of us with office jobs spend far too much time sitting. It’s unhealthy and I know when I come home from a day of sitting in meetings or just at my desk, I feel lethargic and irritable. I now look forward to the days when I have meetings booked so I get the chance to go for a walk with my team. In the spirit of getting #millionsmoving, I’m encouraging everyone to try walking meetings when they can. It really makes a difference to the bond with your colleagues, the creativity and concentration that comes after a walk and not forgetting bettering your #everydayhealth.