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Walking Meetings

WALKING MEETINGS

 

Hands up who thinks we are sitting way too much while working?

 

With COVID many of us are working from home and we are often missing that walk to work and the occasional use of the stairs to our next meeting. Many of us are sitting for over 10 hours at our desks in the office or at home with little or no movement.

 

Research has found that workers who remain inactive (or extended sitting) for over eight hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying similar to the risks of dying posed by obesity and smoking, rather worrying statistics.

 

So how can we change this?

 

We can do this by introducing walking meetings. A walking meeting is simply a meeting that takes place during a walk instead of in your office or at your desk. 

 

What are the benefits?

 

Did you know that recent research finds that the act of walking leads to increases in creative thinking? Plus there is plenty of evidence that suggest that walking meetings lead to more honest exchanges with your team and are more productive than traditional sit-down meetings. One study found that employees who participate in walking meetings are 5.25% more likely to report being creative at their jobs than those who do not. Additionally, the study showed that walking meetings support cognitive engagement, or focus, on the job. Those who participate in walking meetings are 8.5% more likely to report high levels of engagement. The health benefits of doing a 30 minute walking meeting are increased cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones. Walking can reduce the risk of you developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers.

Walking meetings are not breaks from work.

 

They are meetings that would have taken place regardless of whether they were held in someone’s office or while sitting at home on your screen. Dr Ted Eytan of Kaiser Permanente says that our brains are more relaxed during walks due to the release of certain chemicals. This aids our decision making function, which controls how we focus on tasks and deal with unforeseen events, among other things. 

 

The best meetings for walking meetings are ones where you can discuss decisions you may need to make decisions or you are exploring possible solutions. A Harvard Review study showed that ‘participants holding managerial and professional positions experienced more of a creativity boost from walking meetings than those in technical or administrative type jobs (though all categories realized some benefits).’

‘When I was starting people would say we need to sit in front of a computer and discuss this thing. Well what I’ve actually learned is that the part about sitting in front of a computer is really assisted by organizing your thoughts. So if you really truly do need to see something that’s online or a piece of paper then what I would do is walk for about 30 minutes and organize our key takeaways and what the problem is that we’re trying to solve. Then when we get in front of the computer or in front of the papers we’ll have a more directed, focused view of what we’re trying to see and it works out just great. Everything you do in work is better when you can organize it in advance and it’s better to do it with the person right there.’ Dr Ted Eytan

So how do I start?

 

Plan your route

Do this needs in advance, consider whether the route have too many distractions or be too noisy.

 

Don’t surprises your colleague or boss with a walking meeting

If you are meeting up agree it in advance and encourage them to wear appropriate footwear ensure to give them prior notice.

 

How many people?

It is best to stick to one on one. When working from home especially in social distancing times you can pop your headphones in and talk on the phone while you walk.

 

Agree what you will discuss. 

Ensure what you are discussing is appropriate so discussing an idea or goal or knowing each other better. It is best to leave formal or sensitive meetings to a private office. 

 

Follow up

To capture the outputs from your meeting you can make voice notes which automatically transcribe on your phone for follow up after the meeting is over. You then don’t have to type anything up.

 

Challenges

Your biggest challenge will be to encourage more colleagues to do this type of meeting, Share the benefits of the approach not only the health but the benefits that this type of meeting brings. Of course if you agree as a team to commit to it becomes all the easier.

 

Have fun

Data shows that those who participate in walking meetings, are more satisfied at their jobs than their colleagues who don’t.

 

Hopefully the above has set out a good case to be made for walking for you and your teams health benefits. 

 

Why don’t you give it a try?

 

Ciara M. B. Moore 11/11/21

Ready for a walking meeting

career

How to prepare for your next career move | Cody McBride |Women Behind The Network Series |Female Leaders At 50 Network

How to Prepare for Your Next Big Career Move

You’ve reached an impasse at your current job. Your pay and responsibilities aren’t going anywhere, and you’re ready for a new opportunity to grow your career and income. Except for the burning question: What, exactly, does that look like? 

To land a new job, you’ll need to perfect your resume and refine your cover letters. But if you think that’s all that goes into a career move, you’re mistaken. In order to be the most competitive candidate, you need a strategic approach to your job hunt. Keep in mind that job hunting is a lot like defining a market when you own a business; you have to know what you have to offer, and be able to provide it without hesitation. Here’s where to start.

Know Your Career Roadmap

There are many opportunities out there for job seekers at all levels, but not all of them are the right fit for you. To identify the opportunities best-suited to your experience and career goals, lay out a roadmap for your career. Think about where you are now and what skills you have to offer, then consider where you’d like to be in five to 10 years. Don’t just examine the expertise you want to develop; consider the culture you want in a company, and seek out organizations with a good cultural fit. Ask the hard questions, and demand honesty from potential employers. After all, issues like ageism and misogyny are still present in today’s workplace, and you don’t want to end up at a company that allows either. 

Curate Your Online Presence

A resume lays out your qualifications, but it doesn’t give employers the full picture of who you are. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to showcase how you’re unique. Rather than trying to cram information into your resume and cover letter, use your online presence to define your personal brand.

It’s guaranteed that employers will look at your LinkedIn profileand Google your name to learn more about you. Make sure your social media and personal website reflect your recent work history and that personal profiles show nothing controversial. If search results return hits you’d rather employers not see, contract with a reputation management agency, which can develop blog posts, press releases, and other online content that showcases your accomplishments while pushing negative content further into the search results.

Revitalize Your Network

Your professional network is an invaluable resource in your job hunt. Your network can alert you to opportunities, put in a good word with employers, and get you past the hiring gatekeepers. Ideally, you’ve nurtured your network all along, but if you’ve let connections lapse, renew them now. It’s awkward reaching out after a long period of silence, but it’s better than not reaching out at all.

Stay Abreast of Industry Trends

When you hold a position for a long time, you learn a lot about that particular niche but fall behind on broader industry trends. You’ll need a strong understanding of the changes and challenges organizations face in order to present yourself as an expert in the field, so if your industry knowledge has fallen out of date, spend time on research before launching a job search. Catching up on industry news is a great excuse to reconnect with old networking leads. You can also dig into research reports, industry publications, and influential blogs and social media profiles to find the latest news.

Learn How to Talk About Your Accomplishments — And Failures

Job interviews are full of hard-hitting questions, so make sure you’re prepared to answer them. Articulating career accomplishments with compelling storytelling is important, but be ready to talk about your failures, too. The ability to admit to your failures and show how you’ve grown — without complaining or deflecting blame — shows employers you have the integrity to serve their organization.

Think Outside the Box

Maybe you need more than just a new job, working for someone else. Entrepreneurship is a smart way to reshape your career. It’s loaded with benefits, like setting your own schedule and choosing with whom you work. It’s also loaded with responsibilities, since the buck stops with you. 

If you decide to start your own business, make sure you apply the same level of discernment and attention to detail that has served you well in your career so far.  In addition to choosing the right name, you’ll need a well-thought business plan, a detailed market analysis, and the right legal structure. The latter can be daunting, but there are online services that help. For a small fee, they’ll walk you through the required steps to register with your state. Once that is done, you’ll be ready for customer zero!

A big career change is a high-stakes move, especially if you have a family. If you dive in unprepared, you could make a bad impression with the very people you’re hoping to impress. Taking these steps before pitching yourself to prospective employers will set your job search on the right track and pave the way for future success.

If you are looking to connect with a group of passionate, hard-working women leaders ages 50 and older, please get in touch!

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