Gathering expert Priya Parker shares on the art of cultivating real connection and community no matter the distance.
– KEYS SOULCARE
In these unprecedented times of quarantine, the human need for connection remains strong, and not just in the boardroom but in all areas of life. Priya Parker has spent 15 years brokering the conversations that companies and individuals need to have to get to a deeper level of interpersonal connection. The author of The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters and host of The New York Times podcast “Together Apart”, Parker recently sat down with the TED team to discuss the power of creating meaningful interactions when we’re not able to share space in the same way.
Whether it is a virtual meeting with colleagues or interpersonal dynamics with housemates during quarantine, Parker’s advice can make digital and IRL relationships a more authentic and safe place. Here are a few highlights from her talk.
Establish the Reason
Before we even come together, Parker encourages us to first ask ourselves, “What is the need?” This allows a host to ground a gathering in what best serves those who are attending. For instance, creating the safe space needed for healing requires a different level of thoughtfulness than planning a celebration.
Define the Intention
Parker believes that intention is the key to meaningful interactions. “Many of our gatherings have become vague or diluted,” she shared with TED, adding that cultivating connection requires setting clear rules on what everyone involved needs. Let your guests, or colleagues, connect to the experience of coming together by empowering them with knowledge of what they can expect and how they can contribute.
Connect with Purpose
Hosts have the special opportunity, and duty, to connect people with purpose, protect participants from one another should there be a potential for conflict, and create a space where everyone feels equally seen and heard. Hosts can set the stage by letting participants know that each voice involved matters, and the space is safe for open exchanges.
The art of creating meaning in our interactions has changed, but there are still opportunities to foster relationships that leave us feeling cared for and connected — even when we are separated physically.
How are you staying connected to your community during these unprecedented times?