In many mediations (including those I have conducted), there comes a point when the parties are at an impasse: they are stymied in reaching a settlement. The plaintiff wants more, and the defendant believes it has already offered too much. The parties want to settle but do not know how to bridge the gap.
What to do? Take a walk! According to an article published on April 30, 2013 in the New York Times entitled “Want To Be More Creative? Take a Walk” by Gretchen Reynolds, there is now a study that supports the anecdotes we have all heard that taking a walk always helps to clear the mind and get the thoughts flowing once again.
The study evolved out of a real life experience. Marily Oppezzo, a graduate student at Stanford University, would take walks with her advisor and discuss topics. As a result of those walks, Ms. Oppezzo would find her solutions. Then the “ah hah” moment hit her: she should conduct a study to determine if the anecdotes are really true.
So, Dr. Oppezzo gathered some undergraduate students in a deliberately dull, unadorned room equipped with only a desk and a treadmill. She asked them to sit and complete some creativity tests. Then she asked them to walk on the treadmill (which faced a blank wall) at an easy pace and take the same creativity test. The result: creativity significantly increased while the students were walking.
Dr. Oppezzo wondered if this creativity would carry over once the walking stopped. So, she tested this as well by having the students take creativity tests, go for a walk and then sit and take the tests again. She found that the walking did have a lingering effect;
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