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Over the course of my professional career, I’ve done my fair share of of networking.
More often than not, fostering new connections has involved grabbing a cup of coffee or tea and exchanging an expanded version of the ever-popular elevator pitch, with the hope that there may be some opportunity for collaboration in the future.
At its core, networking is how we obtain and share resources. It enables us to build and develop relationships by investing time in understanding others and what they wish to accomplish. Likewise, it helps us identify needs so that we can offer ideas for potential resources.
While I quite enjoy beverages, I’ve started to look for other ways to connect.
Yesterday, I took a 3-hour hike with a new friend that I met recently at a networking meeting. After a brief conversation it became clear that we had quite a bit in common, so we decided to plan another get-together. The leisurely walk not only gave us time to learn more about one another, it also provided us with an opportunity to support our health by getting some physical activity. (Plus, it was just more fun than getting coffee.)
I was grateful that my walking companion was patient with me, as I have to stop periodically to catch my breath. Inclines have never been easy for me, but that’s exactly why enjoy hiking so much: it continues to push me to improve my cardiovascular health.
Walking meetings are drastically underutilized in most workplace settings, but they can provide huge benefits, from boosting creativity to reducing stress.
Which of your upcoming meetings could become walking meetings?