The Art Of Gathering: Give Your Gathering A Purpose - Deepstash
 The Art Of Gathering: Give Your Gathering A Purpose

The Art Of Gathering: Give Your Gathering A Purpose

Before hosting, figure out your reason for gathering. Ask yourself how you actually want to spend your time, with whom, in what way.

We often make the mistake of conflating the category (e.g. birthday party) with the purpose (e.g. to surround yourself with the people who bring out the best in you).

A purpose doesn't have to be serious, but simply adding an intention can begin to shape the group's experience of the night.

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Setting expectations can be a powerful tool. It primes your guests through a temporary social contract, so they know how to show up (and what to show up with) before even walking through the door.

Give your gathering a name and make the purpose clear — whether it's catching up with old friends or welcoming new ones to the neighborhood.

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Generous authority means imposing in a way that serves your guests. It's about striking a balance between warmth and order.

  • Part of taking care of the life of the group is protecting them — either from sheer boredom or from each other.
  • The role of a host is figuring out how to make everybody feel like they belong.
  • Another way of practicing generous authority is connecting your guests to both your purpose and to each other.

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Group size matters. It can fundamentally affect people's behavior, and there's actual science to it, too. This is where determining a clear purpose behind your gathering can help as well. It allows you to explain your reasons behind a particular guest list, the way you can't if the party is vague.

6 is a good size for a really connected conversation. 8 to 12 is a great size for a buzzy, dinner party where you're much more likely to have small group conversations. 20 to 30 feels more like a party.

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Clarify the purpose of your virtual gathering

Don't assume your virtual gathering shares the same goal as the canceled in-person one. Keep these questions in mind:

  • What is the most important need now for this group right now?
  • What is the new desire of this gathering?
  • How ca we create that online?

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Introducing People

People no longer have the option to introduce themselves to new people at their convenience (like in an office setting, for example). With the remote setting, the second someone joins an online meeting, they’re exposed in front of dozens of new faces staring straight at them. It's easy to feel awkward. More so if they are ignored, or not properly introduced.

So make sure to introduce everyone individually to the group. And if not everyone on the call knows each other, make the time for short ice-breaking sessions for everyone to introduce themselves.

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Good personal writing can encourage a real connection and brighten someone's day, be it a birthday day card, snail mail, a text message or a work email. 

When done right, it feels like someone is really noticing you.

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