8 tips for an outdoor meeting
Indoor / outdoor, new meeting formats, such as Walk & Talk session, Stand-up meeting or Energizers are flourishing as they allow you to work together better, while enjoying nature and its many benefits.
Some advice to optimize this green working habit.
1 / Be clear about the objective
Here, no slides, no note taking, presentation or document sharing. Outdoor meetings will be reserved for brainstorming, problem solving, and nurturing exchanges. Your objective will therefore aim at collective speaking, exchange, debate of ideas.
2 / Choose the right format
Each meeting format has its own format:
- Brainstorming? Think Walk & Talk
- An informal leader / employee meeting? Think Fireside Chat
- Une cohésion d’équipe à retrouver ou une sous-commission dans un programme chargé ? Pensez Stand-up Meeting
- A group that needs energy? Think Energizers
And let the benefits of the natural world do the rest …
3 / Adapt the size of the groups
For optimal comfort, do not exceed 5 or 6 people for Walk & Talk, ten people for Stand-up meetings and more for Energizers. For W&T, the idea is to walk all together, at the same pace, and that everyone can participate and hear well. Hearing comfort and speaking time will be much more convincing with small groups, just like for Stand-up Meetings. Energizers, which draw energy from a group, support a significant number of participants.
4 / Limit time
Do you like walking? 20, 30 or 40 minutes are enough. Beyond that, counterproductive fatigue can appear. Having limited time also allows you to stay focused on the subject that matters most. Stand-up meetings will not exceed 20 to 30 minutes. Keep in mind that each outdoor meeting format must be suitable for all physical conditions.
5 / Disconnect!
For Walk & Talk, turn off your phone, and encourage your participants to do the same. Enjoying the benefits of nature should be done without interference between you and the natural environment. It’s also the opportunity to really meet, and to get back to basics.
6 / Debrief immediately
Do not go apart as soon as the meeting is over: debrief and write a short report on the results of the session. Capture the energy and ideas accumulated during the meeting to move forward with your projects.
7 / Choose the right time of the day
A few strategic moments of the day increase the effectiveness of Walk & Talk sessions: in the middle of the morning, to take advantage of the time when the brain is most ready to be focused and attentive or around 5 p.m., to re-boost and refocus. Energizers will work best just before a long day and right after lunch. As for Fireside Chats, they are usually scheduled at the end of the day.
8 / Walk … but not just anywhere!
It is not enough to walk to be productive. The environment of your session is of course fundamental. Choose a quiet place, protected from noise pollution, wooded, easy to access and adapted to everyone’s physical condition. The ideal being an immersion in nature. Woods, parks, meadows, streams, fill up on green. Nature revitalizes, reduces stress and boosts creativity, take the most of it!