Going for a walk is good for us in so many ways. Walking also has a very positive effect on a conversation. A difficult conversation demands that we are clear, assertive, able to listen and to work together to agree a way forward. A walk can create the positive, focused and open atmosphere needed for this.
Here’s how a walking conversation can be a powerful tool for holding a difficult conversation at work:
- Face a problem together.
When we sit down we are often face-to-face. This can produce a sense of confrontation – me versus you. When we walk, we are side-by-side. We are moving together facing the problem and working together to find solutions – us versus the problem.
- No interruptions.
When we go for a walk we can switch off phones and leave screens behind. This way we can be fully present in the conversation. We can also stop colleagues noticing our meeting or popping into the room
- Quality thinking.
Sometimes we have the same difficult conversation several times and find ourselves falling into the same frustrating arguments. Studies have proven that walking has a positive effect on thinking and generation of ideas. This is invaluable when responding to difficult situations.
- Natural high.
Walking for around 20 minutes releases endorphins and brings about a natural high. When we feel positive, we are able to be more open which improves how we communicate.
- No ceiling.
When we are outside and moving we gain a sense of possibility. We can look at a difficult situation in a fresh way and avoid feeling stuck.
Got a difficult conversation coming up? Try taking it outside and let me know how you get on!
Anise develops teams. She specialises in executive coaching while walking & development events designed to get teams moving, reflecting and connecting.