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The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters
A transformative exploration of the power, purpose, and benefits of gatherings in our lives: at work, at school, at home and beyond.
Every day we find ourselves in gatherings, and those 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.
If we can understand what makes these gatherings effective and memorable, then we can reframe and redirect them to benefit everyone, host and guest alike.
When we understand why we gather (to acknowledge, to learn, to challenge and to change) we learn how to organize gatherings that are relevant and memorable: from an effective business meeting to a thought-provoking conference; from a joyful wedding to a unifying family dinner.
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, why, and and explains how simple, specific changes can invigorate any group experience.
In dozens of fascinating examples (conferences, meetings, a courtroom, a flash-mob party, an Arab-Israeli summer camp) , she breaks down the alchemy of these experiences to show what goes into the good ones and demonstrates how we can learn to incorporate those elements into all of our gatherings, and explains how ordinary people can create remarkable occasions, large and small.
The result is a book that's both journey and guide, full of big ideas with real-world applications that will change the way you look at a business meeting, a parent-teacher conference, and a backyard barbecue.