“The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters” is a book by Priya Parker that asks us to rethink how we plan and take part in social, professional, and civic meetings. Parker is a facilitator and strategic advisor. She uses her experience and study to share ideas and tips on how to make gatherings that are meaningful, memorable, and help people connect, learn, and grow.
Parker says that most groups don't have a clear goal, structure, or direction. She says we should start by asking ourselves why we're getting together and what we want to get out of it. Then, we should plan the meeting around that goal by picking the right place, format, guest list, agenda, and rules of engagement. She also tells us to be more thoughtful and creative about how we call, greet, host, lead, and end our gatherings.
One of the best things about the book is that it uses stories and examples from different times and places to show how to gather information effectively. Parker tells stories from her own work as a guide as well as from education, art, politics, religion, and sports, among other places. She shows how simple but powerful techniques like naming the gathering, making a pop-up rule, getting the guests ready, breaking the script, and closing with a bang can change the way people feel at a gathering.
The book is not only educational, but it is also interesting and motivational. Parker's writing is clear, funny, and full of emotion. She asks us to think about our own experiences and ideas about getting together and to try out new ways to get people together. She also asks us to think beyond the usual ways of getting together and to come up with new ideas for group action and social change.
Here are five important things to learn from the book:
1. A group of three or more people who get together for a specific reason is called a meeting. The goal should be clear, specific, and debatable, which means it should be open to discussion and argument. A good reason for getting together helps shape the event and decide who to call, where to meet, how to talk to each other, and what to do.
2. The person in charge of a gathering has the power and duty to build and protect a temporary world for the people there. This means making rules and sticking to them, excluding or kicking out people who don't fit or behave, and giving the guests a feeling of belonging and connection. The host should also be kind, interested, and interested in getting to know the guests. They shouldn't be a chill host, a priming host, or a fleeing host.
3. A gathering should be set up and run in a way that fits the goal and the people who will be there. This means picking a place that fits the tone and purpose of the gathering, making a start that signals a shift into the other world, planning activities that engage the guests and start meaningful conversations, and ending the gathering with a clear and memorable ending that reinforces the purpose and the connections made.
4. The things that are talked about at a meeting should be important, interesting, and unexpected for the people there. This means avoiding topics, speakers, or agendas that are boring or predictable and instead giving guests chances to share their stories, points of view, and interests. The information should also push the guests to learn something new, face their biases or assumptions, or change how they act or what they think.
5. The art of gathering is more than just planning and hosting events. It's also about developing a way of thinking and a set of skills that can change the way we connect with people every day. We can make our meetings, dinners, parties, conferences, and ceremonies more meaningful and memorable for ourselves and others if we use the concepts and practices of gathering. Gathering can also be a tool for social change by bringing together different groups of people who can push each other, learn from each other, and work together to solve problems that affect everyone.
“The Art of Gathering” is a book that will be interesting to anyone who wants to get better at gathering and feel more confident about it. It will also inspire people who want to make a change in the world by making gatherings that are more meaningful and have a bigger impact. It's a book that will make you think about how and why you meet people.
Buy this book at Amazon: https://amzn.to/41RAW1k
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