And how it is a vital part of management and operations
Managers and staff execute their work throughout the season, and they run up against the challenges of getting the job done. So much about that is reasonable, regardless of industry. So too, is the leadership demand to make decisions that benefit the business. Adding different meeting types to your manager's toolkit expands your ability to lead.
When the issue is not finding business, but increasing performance and productivity with customers, a wise place to make an impact is on the efficiency of your operations. Indeed, so is looking at how managers and teams relate. Hence, the walking meeting. But let's take a look at the why of the walking meeting, before explaining how to conduct a walking meeting, and to find out when you need one.
Measuring an individual's performance, along with their attitude and talent, is the primary focus of a good manager. Kicking off new systems, learning existing systems, adapting to change efforts, and plans, for instance, requires time, communications, and care. Furthermore, when we talk about the proverbial "job," we can highlight a commonality among every service business that does work, knowledge.
Knowledge is a competitive advantage for every business. In the workplace, managing knowledge is also a critical concern. So, we arrive at the why of the walking meeting: this meeting type affords alternative results for knowledge-gathering, knowledge-sharing, and moving the needle.
There are three reasons why you would go for a walking meeting versus conducting an in-office meeting, and they are as follows:
- Several meetings have already taken place on the same subject.
- The goal for the current task is on-track, or it could be at risk.
- As a manager, bearing in mind the previous meetings on the subject, you want to learn more from your employees.
The walking meeting is a more casual and intimate discussion. It changes the power structure of the conversation. In the workplace, the conversation managers and staff have is mediated by their environment. This is one type of system that has a bearing on what is said and unsaid. And so, the walking meeting is a different system. Being face to face is not the case here. Walking together allows for a distinctive conversational rhythm. When a manager can spot embarrassment, especially with a demanding job, a walking meeting is a boon for not only anxiety release but critical learning.
A quick list of how to prepare for a walking meeting:
- As a manager, consider what you want to get out of the meeting.
- Find a route that is not too meandering.
- Consider the knowledge needs of the meeting.
- How will you record what is said?
As a further point, you might want to look at other meeting types, like those of your board, your senior leadership, and those of motivation for human resources. Managers need to be critical about the strategy and operations of their business. And they must ask how they can leverage more not only from their staff but from themselves. That, leveraging organizational intelligence for service industry companies is our specialty. We hope this article has been helpful.