The Art of Gathering
Our book of the month for October is Priya Parker’s The Art of Gathering. Parker argues that the gatherings in our lives are lackluster and unproductive and 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. Drawing on her expertise as a facilitator of high-powered gatherings around the world, Parker takes us inside events of all kinds to show what works, what doesn’t, and why.
It All Starts With Purpose
We’ve talked about our “why” and our purpose with our businesses, but it’s so important to think about our purpose in all that we do. Even in your gatherings and events, Parker pushes us to think about our intentions of why we are gathering. She invites us to dig past the surface level of reasons like “I’m celebrating a birthday” or “I want our employees to have Christmas party” to really find out the true meaning of bringing people together.
A Beginning, Middle, and End
Parker discusses how every event is like a speech; it has a striking beginning, an interesting middle, and a solid and strong close. She goes into each part and shares her tips for each one, like how you never start or end with the logistics at a party. What it really got us thinking about was that we never really end a party, event, or gathering. We start looking around and see if guests are getting tired or antsy and just start ushering people to the door. But great events actually do everything well, from before guests even arrive to the end when they leave and re-enter the world.
We loved learning about better ways we can host gatherings. In the book, Parker discusses multiple gatherings, from conferences, meetings to a flash-mob party, an Arab-Israeli summer camp and everything in between. Her examples helped us find new and fun things we can incorporate in our next events. If you are looking to become a great host and gather out of love and purpose, then this book is definitely for you!