Over the course of my professional career, I’ve done my fair share of networking.
More often than not, making a new connection 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 an 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 what others wish to accomplish and why it’s important to them.
While I quite enjoy hot beverages, I’ve started to look for new, healthier 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 a hiking 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 moving our bodies and 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 periodically have to stop and catch my breath. (I would later learn this is because I have asthma, but that’s another topic.) Hiking pushes me to improve my cardiovascular health.
Honestly, walking meetings are highly underutilized in workplace settings, where they could be an asset in terms of productivity and creativity, not to mention reducing stress.
Which of your upcoming meetings could become walking meetings?