The Art of Gathering
How We Meet and Why It Matters
The Art of Gathering shows you how to bring people together to create transformative, breakthrough meetings and experiences
We spend our lives gathering - first in classrooms and then in meetings, weddings, conferences and away days. Yet so many of us spend this time in underwhelming moments that fail to engage us, inspire us, or connect us. We've all sat in meetings where people talk past each other or go through the motions and others which galvanize a team and remind everyone why they first took the job. We've been to weddings that were deeply moving and others that were run-of-the-mill and simply faded away.
Why do some moments take off and others fizzle? What's the difference between the gatherings that inspire you and the ones that don't?
In The Art of Gathering, Priya Parker gets to the heart of these questions and reveals how to design a transformative gathering. An expert on organizing successful gatherings whether in conference centres or her living room, Parker shows us how to create moving, magical, mind-changing experiences - even in spaces where we've come to expect little.
Praise for The Art of Gathering
As social animals, humans gather, meet, and bond-seeking meaning, purpose, creative expression, and more. In almost all cases this is an unconscious process leading to subtle frustration and a lack of satisfaction. For the last few years I've avoided social gatherings because I find them meaningless and banal. I learned much from this book. Priya Parker has created both an art and a science to gathering in ways that can bring joy and fulfillment to any meetingDeepak Chopra MD
[A] remarkable new book about how we spend our time together, at work, at home, and beyond. If you want to get more out of every event, whether it's with your boss and co-workers or friends and family, The Art of Gathering can helpBustle
[A] fantastic book . . . . Good things happen when people connect. Especially when we follow Priya's sage adviceForbes
Enthusiastically delivered formulas for better get-togethers... useful to those whose job it is to plan meetings, conferences, and the like and a worthy survival manual for consumers of the sameKirkus Reviews
A long overdue and urgent manifesto for anyone who has the temerity (and generosity) to organize the time and energy of a team in order to call a meetingSeth Godin
This clear and engaging book sets down many things you thought you knew, until you find yourself remembering that you did not attend to its simple rules at the last significant event you hosted.... A passion for successful encounters enlivens every pageSherry Turkle, author of Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age and Alone Together
A brilliant and eminently practical guide! The Art of Gathering will open your eyes to just how often we gather - and how we can turn those mundane events into dazzling opportunities for meaning, dreaming, and doing. This book should be mandatory reading for everyone from the business executive to the community activist, the conflict resolution specialist to the dinner host. Concrete advice that will forever change the way you gatherDaniel L. Shapiro, founder of the Harvard International Negotiation Program and author of Negotiating the Nonnegotiable
Don't read this book alone. Read it at a gathering of friends, in a book club, with a team of colleagues, or on a family reunion. But read it-for its wisdom, its charm, its insight, and its ability to make every encounter with others more meaningful and enjoyable. The Art of Gathering is a book long overdue, and just in time." -Bruce Feiler, bestselling author of The Secrets of Happy Families and Walking the Bible "Many of the best things in life happen when people gather. So it's remarkable how little conscious intent goes into planning such moments. Thank goodness for this book. It opens up new ways of thinking about wonderful gatherings with a delicious confection of smartly-defined concepts and detailed examples. Hosts of all kinds, this is a must-read!Chris Anderson, owner and curator of TED
We're more connected than ever. But it doesn't really feel that way. We talk on the phone less than we used to, but we spend more time in front of screens, or plugged into earbuds. We're constantly interacting, but not always communicating on a meaningful level. We're busy, but we're not often getting a lot done. Priya Parker aims to change that. In her new book The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters, Parker sets out to make our lives more productive, and our interactions more meaningfulDebbie Millman, Design Matters
Priya Parker's The Art of Gathering is brilliant. The book is a timely reminder: It's our human-to-human links that make the most meaningful moments of our lives. Page by page, Parker offers a decoder ring for the secret forces at work when we gather for business, crises or celebration. What to leave out, where to meet, how to charm-it's all here, explained with unforgettable stories and clever tips. You'll only put this book down because it will make you so hungry for a gathering of your ownJoshua Cooper Ramo, author of The Seventh Sense and The Age of the Unthinkable
The Art of Gathering is one of the most transformative books I've read in years. It has fundamentally changed I how run meetings, attend conferences, and even arrange dinner with friends. Equally important, it has reminded me why people come together in the first place and why we should treat every gathering as an opportunity to deepen our shared humanityDaniel H. Pink, author of When and Drive