We often underestimate the power of walking and talking. Most of our meetings are sitting meetings. Have you ever thought about how sitting in the same chair throughout a workshop can contribute to our remaining rigid in our positions? How we sometimes feel stuck? By walking together, we can seek inspiration, connect with nature, allow for synchronicities, generate energy and focus, connect with our force of movement, and deepen our collective reflections. It is well known that Steve Jobs, for example, made a habit of using walking meetings, and Aristotle consistently instructed his students while strolling about.
Paired walks have always been a core part of Reos’ multi-stakeholder workshops. Simple as it may seem, even a 20-minute walk in pairs can make a big difference to the productivity and collaborative capacity of a diverse group.
How does it work? Simply encourage workshop participants to take a walk with another person, preferably with someone they don’t know. Instruct them to find someone who they imagine thinks very differently from them, someone who they would not normally conceive of going on a walk with. Invite the pairs to go for a walk and have a discussion. You may want to give participants a guiding question to discuss on their walk or you may leave the conversation open. When the pairs come back, depending on your objective for the activity, you may want to ask them to share in plenary any reflections from their walk, or it may just be something that stays with them. Just don’t forget to create time for the valuable exercise of walking and talking.