Walking and talking

I came across this blog that I posted a while ago and thought I would update it a bit…

I always get confused with the expression “walking the talk”. I guess it means doing what you said you were going to do or perhaps living how you say others should. I have a new meaning for it though. Instead of having a conversation in an office, why not talk while having a walk. In that way you get some exercise as well as having a conversation?

But there is more to it than that. Three very important reasons why this isn’t such a kooky idea.

  1. Instinctively it seems a good idea to get out into nature and recently research is backing this common sense up showing it is indeed true. The Royal College of Psychiatrists has a special interest group that promotes the use of experiencing the outdoors as therapy. As we learn more about wellbeing, we realise how important it is to keep active. Many of us are desk-bound and so we really must get out and exercise more. So if we can do this AND do some of our work better, it’s got to be a good thing.
  2. Getting out of the office can create a break in habitual thinking so can enable us to break habits. we might be stuck in some sort of mental loop going over and over the same issue and coming to the same answer. Getting outside can really help break through into new ideas.
  3. Perhaps the most important result of walking and talking is that it means you are walking side by side with the person you are conversing with. This reduces the confrontation of sitting opposite or at right angles to someone.

There might be slight distractions which might not be helpful or appropriate so make sure that the conversation isn’t delicate or personal. Of course if you are able to go for a walk somewhere isolated, perhaps there isn’t the risk of being overheard. But try it. Take your conversations for a walk.

UPDATE for 2019

I have a small group of people I keep in touch with partly out of friendship, partly because I enjoy their company and partly because it helps me become better at my job. I recently met up with one such and instead of a coffee or a beer or even a walk, we decided to meet up at the climbing wall in the (magnificent!) sports centre at work. We climbed and chatted for an hour and when my finger strength and reserves of courage expired, we sat down for a chat. There was a moment when I was climbing and was near as dammit at the top so I called down that I was done.

“No you’re not” came the reply from Simon who was refusing to lower me down. And so I swore at him and then did two more moves and reached the top. When I was finally lowered down and had called him rude names, he asked how I felt. And of course I was elated that I had got right to the top when I didn’t think I could.

He is always coaching, supporting and thinking. I left the centre elated and really pleased I suggested the climb. And that I have such an inspirational friend.

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