Meet Me Where I Am - Re:think Teamwork

Meet Me Where I Am - Re:think Teamwork

Rosa Acri · October 31, 2022

Mural Webinar with Priya Parker

I attended the Re:think Teamwork Webinar hosted by MURAL and the instant I listened in, Priya Parker captured my unconditional attention. How are we shaping our gatherings in a time of hybrid or fully remote working?

“Whether a group is gathering online or offline, group dynamics exist. Through thoughtful design and facilitation, you can shape them.”

Priya started by talking about the misconception that “Powerful gatherings are the shaping of things”. - which in this case is erroneous. We should look rather at the meaning of “Powerful gatherings come from shaping of people and interactions”.

Often the form or template we use to gather and interact does not serve the modern need of a gathering. When hosting and/or facilitating a meeting the work that is done beforehand contributes to meaningful collaboration. It’s said that 90% of the success of what happens in the room, happens before anyone enters it.

Ask yourself:

  • What is the need?
  • Why are we gathering?
  • Who do we might bringt together to serve the need?
  • How are the people feeling? How do I want those people to feel?
  • What do I need to do, in order to make the guests/attendees feel safe enough and brave enough to collaborate?

“Communication and Connections are not synonyms.”

Why is inviting people to engage so important for connection? We often have the assumption that the purpose of a gathering is obvious and shared. That is why you have to prime your guests. What does that mean? Priming your guests can be something small and simple, but that already encourages people to engage beforehand with the purpose of the gathering. Prepare an invitation, name your gathering, don’t call it just “meeting”. The guests already play a big part in starting a dialog by accepting or declining an invitation.

Something as simple as a reminder stating the agenda for the upcoming event or asking to share their current challenges or expectations before the actual gathering contributes to understanding how your guests identify. Are my guest's introverts? Do they experience social anxiety? Are they open, extroverted, and so on? People want to be relevant and valuable guests and not feel like they are wasting their time by attending or having to feel uncomfortable and out of place.

Her book "The Art of Gathering" covers the following pillars:

  • Decide why you're really gathering
  • Close doors
  • Don't be a chill host
  • Create a temporary alternative world
  • Never start a funeral with logistics
  • Keep your best self out of my gathering
  • Cause good controversy
  • Accept that there is an end.

the importance of a proper closing

"When you open a world, you need time to also close that world".

By closing your gathering you create a sense of safety and give your guests time to mentally and physically prepare for the event on their busy schedule.

Priya Parker is an outstanding storyteller and she had wonderful insights about how we can improve our collaboration to have meaningful and purpose-driven gatherings. Thank you for that Priya!

I highly recommend her gathering guide (it’s free!) and I am officially a fan!

I hope this quick summary of the conversation between Priya and Laïla von Alvensleben offered some food for thought. Feel free to ping me if you like to have more links or insights into the attended webinar.

Rosa Acri

Rosa Acri

Content Integration Manager | Scrum Master @ Stuttgart

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