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Take a Walk to Honor Steve Jobs… with a Colleague, not Your iPhone

Happy new iPhone month!  For many of us, either every September or every other September is the time we upgrade our phones – this year being no different.  A few weeks ago Apple announced the new iPhone 8 and iPhone X in the Steve Jobs Theater. Other than feeding my inner nerd, the event reminded me of one of Jobs’ most effective management tactics: walking meetings.

Jobs loved the walking meetings as a way to have effective communication, get away from distractions and be more productive.  Whether you’ve read the Jobs’ biography, seen the movie or just heard anecdotes – you’ve probably heard how effective they were for him – so are walking meetings something YOU should be doing?  Let’s consider the following:

It’s Healthy
According to a study by the Harvard Medical School, walking for 2.5 hours a week, that’s just 21 minutes daily,  can cut your risk of heart disease by 30%. The study, backed by a Harvard Business Review study also shows that walking keeps individuals mentally sharp and opens minds and increases the flow of ideas.

They Keep Individuals and Creative
The same study quantified the benefits by reporting walking meeting participants are 5.25% more likely to self-report being creative at their jobs than those who do not. And those who participate in walking meetings are 8.5% more likely to report high levels of engagement. Engagement is hard to improve – yet a simple walking meeting can really help engagement and done right – employees and team members feel

They’re More Open and Less Restrictive
It’s human nature – leave the office and people will let their guard down and communicate more openly and honestly.  Walk to get the blood flowing, generating more ideas and opinions naturally come out.  Additionally, walking meetings lead to more honest exchanges of ideas as both participants are walking (and hopefully looking) forward, taking away the sometime intimidating or idea-stifling boss-to-employee eye contact.

They Break Down Barriers and Distractions
Just by their nature walking meetings get two people out of an office, away from desks, and keep participants focused on the work relationship and the tasks at hand. They facilitate more honest exchanges and are much more productive than traditional sit-down meetings.

Try it – you just might like it. And when you do, keep the new iPhone in your pocket!

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