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The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker

Key Takeaways

Step 1 - Committing to a bold, sharp purpose – when should we gather and why

  • We gather to solve problems you can’t solve alone, to mourn and celebrate, to show strength and honor

  • Don’t mistake category (networking night) for purpose (helping clients connect with potential business partners)

  • The more narrowly a community defined itself the more passion it arouses.

  • Uniqueness is also important. How is this different? How is it disputable? Not everyone should agree with the point of the gathering

  • Work backwards – start with purpose, the outcome you want to achieve

Step 2 – who you include (and exclude)

  • Who belongs and why is important? Exclusion can be generous for all the core members

  • There are certain magic numbers in group gatherings – 6, 12-15, 30, 100-200

Where you host your event is just as important as why

  • Seek a place that embodies why you’re meeting

Don’t be a “chill” host – take initiative and being forth the intended purpose of your meeting

  • Find ways to create connections between your guests. Ask for people's names and something they like, some connection they have or mutual interest, be overly generous in food and compliments

  • Enforce rules and exclusion principles

A gathering begins the moment a guest learns about it. The role of priming guests and building anticipation is underappreciated. 90% of what makes a gathering successful is done before the actual gathering.

Communicate clearly to explain what the guests are signing up for

Find ways to honor your guests, going above and beyond what is normally expected

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