The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters by Priya Parker
3 words: conversational, thought-provoking, intriguing
You know how sometimes you pick up a self-improvement book and you don’t even want to put it down? This is one of those.
Right from the start, I was drawn in by Parker’s conversational tone and then held rapt by her surprising statements about how to put together better gatherings.
I finished this book in a whirlwind right before hosting a party, and I went from my usual Mary Richards near-fiasco to a level of confidence I hadn’t had before.
Here are my favorite takeaways from the book:
Have a purpose for your gathering
And if the purpose isn’t evident, sit down and figure it out ahead of time. This’ll give you a destination to aim for. It seriously helps make decisions about how to make the event meaningful.
Be a bossy host
Parker warns against the dangers of being a chill host — which is done to be kind, but ends up being unhelpful. Be a little bit bossy. The host should protect guests from boredom and uncertainty. Have a plan.
Equalize your guests
If people attending the gathering differ due to perceptions based on career or status, take steps to bring everyone to the same level for the duration of the gathering so they can connect as equals.
Make each gathering different from all other gatherings
Think about how this gathering will be unique and play up those aspects.
While I’ll never be the hostess with the mostest, this book helped me up my game and made me feel more solid in my role as host.
Don’t you just love it when a book can do that for you?
Give this book a whirl if you like… learning how to plan parties that are more meaningful and meetings that are more effective, new ways of conceptualizing gatherings, why being a benevolently bossy host can be best
So, my friends… please tell me your favorite hosting tip. Or the best thing you ever experienced as a guest at a gathering. I love this stuff.