Sharing my learnings from the book, The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker
The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker
In The Art of Gathering, Priya Parker argues that the gatherings in our lives are lackluster and unproductive–which they don’t have to be. We rely too much on routine and the conventions of gatherings when we should focus on distinctiveness and the people involved. At a time when coming together is more important than ever, Parker sets forth a human-centered approach to gathering that will help everyone create meaningful, memorable experiences, large and small, for work and for play.
- we spend a large part of our lives gathering but few of us really take the time to consider the ingredients that go into a successful and meaningful gathering
- we tend to focus on the mechanics/logistics (PowerPoints, equipment, table decorations, etc)
- we should start to think about the deeper purpose that lies behind our gathering, get under the skin of how people connect with one another & consider how to design gatherings in a way that encourages better human connections
- committing to a clear purpose for your gathering is the 1st step to making it great. It will help you make the rest of the decisions about how to organize and consider who to invite
- being willing to exclude people is a key step toward building a meaningful gathering. We often think about inclusion but sometimes, exclusion is just as important
- while exclusion may feel impolite, inclusion of the wrong people is a form of impoliteness to the other people involved in it
- Rather than following a hands off approach to hosting, it’s better to embrace generous authority. That means running events with authority, but selflessly, in the interests of your guests
- rules have a bad reputation but that is unfair. If done right, rules can unleash experimentation, playfulness and truly meaningful gatherings. In a world that gives us almost indefinite choices, enforcing focus on just one thing is an act of liberation
- priming your guests well and honoring them on arrival will help get your gathering off to a great start
- design your gatherings so that they encourage people to bring out their authentic selves. Do this by:
- asking for stories (vulnerable, risky & emotional)
- Reveal selves. If you want your guests to share something personal, you have to be prepared to expose yourself first. Take the lead and others will follow.
- end gatherings well. First step is to avoid things simply fizzing out. Ensure your gathering is remembered for the right reasons