Facilitated walk and dialogue meetings for transformative team perspectives
“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.”– Fredrick Nietzsche
To participate in both Walking and Dialogue puts us back into relationship again with the world that is outside of our own constructed worldview. When we combine the two we are open to dramatic shifts in how we perceive the world. It is the movement of walking that seems to make things happen in the mind. While walking the body and mind can walk together so thinking becomes a physical rhythmic act- a state in which mind body and the world are aligned- allows us to be in our bodies and in the world without being made busy by them. It leaves us free to think without being lost in our thoughts.
The rhythm of walking generates a kind of rhythm of thinking. This movement is an essential mode of dynamic interaction between yourself and the outside world. Many of us nowadays live in a series of interiors — home, car, gym, office, shops — disconnected from each other. On foot, everything naturally becomes connected again. You start feeling you are again living in the whole world rather than in interiors built up against it. The dialogues that occur amidst any period of walking naturally become more open, honest, creative interactions that transform whole team perspectives on a subject and each other without the need for any techniques or practices. To participate as a team in the activity of our facilitated walking & dialogue is the most natural way to transform culture within a team.
There is something about walking that stimulates and enlivens my thoughts. When I stay in one place I can hardly think at all, my body has to be on the move to set my mind going…. the absence of everything that makes me feel my dependence…all serve to free my spirit, to lend a greater boldness to my thinking….an exercise of simplicity and a means of contemplation.– Rousseau
To move into the flow of nature and all that is around us we know that it is not possible from a distance, and we must we must move with it, dive into it in all its forms. The first easiest way to achieve this is on foot. Walking in Nature involves feeling the rhythms of life in the body and moving with them. It involves forming relationships and making connections between yourself and all life around you. The simple act of walking with awareness can help provide the bridge to greater perspectives outside our life in the office.
From a business perspective, anecdotal research suggests that walking meetings break down the hierarchical barrier between executives and subordinates. Relationships are transformed. The feeling of discomfort vanishes in walking meetings. The side-by-side dynamic causes a more peer-to-peer relationship between the two people. The Walking opens space for more sincere and authentic conversation and brings a free-flow of ideas and solutions.
Our facilitated half day and full day walking & dialogue sessions naturally re-orientate the team when feeling stuck or stagnated at work. Often after continually sitting our creative flow stagnates, the rhythm of thoughts flat-lines and our minds just go blank. We dream of being anywhere but sitting in the office. These are unproductive times that can be dramatically shifted with the simple act of walking and talking together with purpose.
Walking is what we’ve always done but just don’t do enough of now. We were never designed to stay still, or shuffle around, and shouldn’t be surprised when everything comes to a grinding halt when we do. We were made to move, to travel across the land and live with natural cycles, yet life seems determined to keep us from this and staying aware remains one of our greatest challenges. It’s having the courage to step away from the office and re-sync – to let the festering thoughts be replaced by new, creative integrative thinking.
A new study by Stanford researchers has clearly proven what we have intuitively known thatcreative thinking improves when we go for a walk. From the neurochemical perspective
walking signals a chemical release in the brain that then triggers a boost in creative thinking. The Stamford research concludes that this leads to is a greater recall once the participant stopped walking, with the average increase in creative output around 60 percent.
Life in our modern world can appear complex and isolating. We are constantly being squeezed and pushed in every direction and forever made to feel incomplete. With so many conflicting messages in front of us most of our waking hours it’s not surprising that individuals, businesses and communities lack clear direction and a sense of purpose. I have discovered that only by stepping way outside the matrix of the inside office life into the raw purity of natural places that we can gain a clear perspective, deep cohesion and most importantly wisdom.
So, let the natural world do what it has always done- inspire reenergize and refresh. When move into a relationship beyond the confines of the office creative thoughts and will naturally find you.
Your host Philip Jackson has been facilitating teams in natural spaces for over 15 years and continues to be inspired by the transformation that emerges from such practices