The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters
Priya Parker’s book The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters takes a look at multiple styles of gatherings to understand why it is important to change the way we interact and approach gathering. Ms. Parker is an experienced facilitator and uses her expertise to guide readers through the crucial moments of a get-together while simultaneously explaining just why they are crucial. This book spoke to our team, given that a large part of our work involves bringing our customers together on small and large scales.
A majority of our discussion revolved around how we could best incorporate Ms. Parker’s suggestions and techniques to improve the outcomes of our customer meetings. Some of the questions we asked ourselves were:
• How do we best share what we’ve learned?
• How do we steer our customers in this direction?
• What does a successful meeting look like using these techniques?
• What do we do if our customers are not interested in any of these recommendations?
To test out the ideas from this book, we brainstormed ideas to change the agenda for an upcoming meeting we’re organizing. We took our planned meeting objectives and outcomes and broke them down a little bit to better fit with some of Ms. Parker’s suggestions. By simply re-working some of the objectives, we were able to get a better sense of the purpose of the meeting, which will help guide the structure of the agenda.
We are still mulling around ideas of how best to get our customers on board with the techniques in The Art of Gathering (Gifting a copy of the book? Sharing a link to Ms. Parker’s TEDTalk?). However, one thing is clear: we all came away with a better sense of how we as a team need to approach meetings – small and large – to ensure that everyone involved comes away feeling the time was well-spent.
Parker, Priya. The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters. Riverhead Books, 2018.