What is a Walk-and-Talk Meeting?
Walk-and-Talk Meeting – a conversation in the course of a walk
A Walk-and-Talk Meeting is a meeting that is held while walking, away from a meeting room, office, or desk. A Walk-and-Talk Meeting can easily be held in pairs or in small groups of five participants. Larger groups usually have several conversations while walking, which sometimes leads to participants gathering at a time. While this encourages general interaction, it also ensures that the Walk-and-Talk Meeting becomes an open-air conversation.
Advantages of the Walk-and-Talk Meeting
The meeting in motion
- promotes an improved physical and mental well-being of the participants.
- offers mental stimulation, which often leads to new ideas.
- strengthens the team and helps to form a group identity.
- is not perceived as a waste of time regardless of the results.
- levels hierarchies and status differences and promotes exchange at eye level.
Of course, there are some aspects to Walk-and-Talk Meetings that are not explicitly considered in traditional meetings: the time of year, temperature, weather, agenda, documentation of results, access to information needed, physical limitations of participants, openness of participants to Walk-and-Talk Meetings, route chosen, walking speed, etc.
Conclusion: A Walk-and-Talk Meeting is not meant to be a permanent substitute for all meetings and the more participants there are, the more challenging it becomes. For smaller groups, however, it can offer a successful alternation that promotes team exchange and is fun at the same time.
Impulse to discuss:
If a walk and talk meeting is about talking while walking, could a phone call while walking also be called a walk and talk?
Walk and Talk as a method was probably first mentioned by the US-American psychologist Dr. Kate Hays in 1999 in her book Working it Out: Using Exercise in Psychotherapy.
In 2014, the Journal of Experimental Psychology published a study on the effectiveness of walk & talk compared to “conventional” meetings in a seated position. Many criteria were tested, such as creativity, diversity of ideas, precision of ideas, etc. The results showed a significantly higher output of the walking version.
An interesting publication addresses the difference between cognitive performance and mental state when walking or sitting outdoors.
Here you will find additional information from our Smartpedia section: