August 28, 2009

Walkin' and Talkin'

For years, as an executive coach, I have incorporated a coaching technique that has been very successful. It happened by accident (as many great discoveries’ often do). A consulting client called and wanted coaching but lacked a private area at his office in which to discuss the business issues he faced. Since my office space also lacked that privacy, I had to quickly think up an alternative space.

Then it hit me. The health club where I worked out had a terrific outdoor walking track and would be a perfect place for a leisurely stroll around the half mile of concrete that rimmed a large creek. Well, the leisurely stroll turned out to be a brisk jog, but the task was still accomplished and we both benefited. The client got the private space for his coaching and got a good workout at the same time.

I discovered something that was fundamental for my now established coaching practice. I incorporated walking as part of the process and the clients loved it. What I learned was a new method of increasing productivity. By multi-tasking with the walk and talk format, clients got in their stress reducing exercise and a good block of time for focus on the issues that faced them.

So I was recently delighted to receive the article below on an expansion of that concept called “Meetings on the Move”. Two social work professors came up with this and I believe it has a lot of merit - the original source for article was Timothy McBride, PhD, associate dean for public health, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri. Please review the "Productive Walk and Talk: Business Meetings on the Move" article text at http://statewidetrust.capstoneadministrators.com/page/health-news#Walk_and_Talk_Business:_Meetings_on_the_Move.

I do know that FedEx for years has pioneered the use of the 5-minute stand up morning meeting, as a quick way for a head’s up for everyone yet not squandering precious desk and staff time. Taking that stand up meeting concept a “step” further (forgive me), you can see how they have brought the meeting outside and given everyone a breath of fresh air.

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