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The Art of Gathering

How We Meet and Why It Matters
Written by: Priya Parker
Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A transformative exploration of the power, purpose, and benefits of gatherings in our lives: at work, at school, at home, and beyond.

Every day, we find ourselves in gatherings, Priya Parker says in The Art of Gathering. If we can understand what makes these gatherings effective and memorable, then we can reframe and redirect them to benefit everyone, host and guest alike. Parker defines a gathering as three or more people who come together for a specific purpose. When we understand why we gather, she says - to acknowledge, to learn, to challenge, to change - we learn how to organize gatherings that are relevant and memorable: from an effective business meeting to a thought-provoking conference; from a joyful wedding to a unifying family dinner.

Drawing on her experience as a strategic facilitator who's worked with such organizations as the World Economic Forum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the retail company, Fresh, Parker explains how ordinary people can create remarkable occasions, large and small. In dozens of fascinating examples, she breaks down the alchemy of these experiences to show what goes into the good ones and demonstrates how we can learn to incorporate those elements into all of our gatherings. The result is an audiobook that's both journey and guide, full of big ideas with real-world applications that will change the way you look at a business meeting, a parent-teacher conference, and a backyard barbecue.

©2018 Priya Parker (P)2018 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

“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 meeting.” (Deepak Chopra)

“[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 help.” (Bustle)

“[A] fantastic book.... Good things happen when people connect. Especially when we follow Priya’s sage advice.” (Forbes)

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If you care about quality of your gatherings,listen to this book.

There are lots of things in this world that we do not thinking about and do same way they have been done forever. Like a birthday party or conference. This book is an ultimate guide of how to hold a good gathering no matter what is the cause. With insights on what to do and most importantly what not to do,this book makes a sort of party guide. It definitely changed the way I am going to look from now on at making a gathering a success. Making people love your party or event is a talent and after this book you are sure to be better at it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Art of Gathering

I liked it . Very interesting. I would like more examples of each point the author makes.

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  • Marta
  • 2018-08-26

Would have liked a different narrator

I loved the book content, but struggled to match the narrator with it. Whilst she reads properly, she sounds too robotic and out of tune with the warmth of the text.
That said, I have learned a lot with the book and even ordered the paper version to use as a guide.
Congratulations Priya!

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Peter
  • 2018-06-06

Surprisingly detailed, pragramic, insightful

I picked up this book on a whim as I was looking to branch out from typical non-fiction books, hoping to pick up a few tips here and there. This book was a rather thorough break down of event design, which could be applied from everything from casual get togethers to conferences. There is little here about appetizers, dinner/drinks, music selection, proper activities, but how to make events memorable, engaging, fun, whatever the goal is. I think the name of this book does it a disservice as it sounds like a glorified Good Housekeeping issue rather than a truly thoughtful way to make all of your group activities tangibly work better. I recommend this book to everyone interested in the self-development genre.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Designer S.
  • 2018-11-08

More than I expected

I was curious how this book was able to get such high reviews across every platform where it is sold. Then I got to the third chapter and realized that I was being pulled into a world of clarity and intention. The advice given can be applied to every interaction that we have with others. Even when we are not the host. This book has taught me how to be a better guest and how to create meaningful experiences that benefit myself and those around me.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-11-15

must read for those working with groups

must read for those working with groups, from parties to workshops and seminars, and even families and trusts

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • P.G.
  • 2018-11-07

Great text but narrator is robotic

Great text with really helpful tips and insights for bringing groups together in a way that is memorable and effective. Yet the narrator of the book sounds like a robot...legit like a computer, and it made it very very hard for me to connect with listening to the text. I felt like the narrator needed to be more lively or connected, because the book is about connectedness.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniel
  • 2018-07-28

Host people?

If you get people together of any size, this is a must read to make your gatherings more enjoyable.

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  • Katherine Burgett
  • 2018-12-22

Incredibly useful information!!

This book has made me rethink how I conduct and organize gatherings for the various businesses and non-profit organizations I work with. She covers everything from what you would expect like logistics and activities to the things you wouldn't even think about like breaking down the purpose of your gathering and why that's important, protecting participants, social contracts, and why to exclude certain people. (promise that's really important and she will explain why). Definitely recommend to anyone planning any type of event.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jessica
  • 2018-08-21

Loved it

Such a good book! It was very helpful for life in general! How to gather in a meaningful way will help you think about ways to connect with people!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-06-01

what political organizers and more need to add to their meetings.

excellent content and performance. priya is wonderful and wise. read, practice, engage with design and heart.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kelly I.S. Libertelli
  • 2019-07-13

Voice didn’t match up and messed me up

Unfortunately I learned of this book from hearing a podcast interview of the author and then when I started listening to the book and it WASNT her own voice, I couldn’t listen to it. It ruined it for me personally. Hard to explain why. Perhaps if I hadn’t heard the actual authors voice when I learned about the book. But her voice and what she said is what made me want to buy the book. So it made a difference for the audiobook to not be the same voice.
I’m not rating he content because I haven’t heard it since i list interest as soon as I heard the narration.