What is a Walk and Talk Meeting, what are the advantages and which aspects should be considered?
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.
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.
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