The Art of Gathering 3: Don’t be a Chill Host
Here are my notes on “Art of Gathering Chapter 3: Don’t be a Chill Host” by Priya Parker.
- Wanting to be a chill host results in being tempted to abdicate power. This abdication fails the guests instead of serving them.
- Pulling back as a host creates a vacuum others at the gathering will fill. Those others that fill the vacuum of a host will exercise power in a manner inconsistent with your gathering’s purpose. The other guests attended the gathering because they thought you were hosting not the other person that stepped in when you abdicated your role as host.
- If you’re going to host, host. Don’t do an initial action and then give up thinking the whole gathering will run on auto pilot. Enforce the gathering’s purpose and rescue your guests if it fails.
- A host with generous authority should be your goal. This is a strong, confident hand, selfless for the sake of the guests. The host spares guests from chaos and anxiety. The host is willing to be disliked for the purpose of the gathering.
- There are 3 goals of a host- 1. Protect Your Guests by enforcing rules with prepwork, anticipate and intercept people’s tendencies when they’re not considering the betterment of the whole group or the experience. 2. Equalize Your Guests by finding ways to leave titles and rank at the door. 3. Connect Your Guests by designing the gathering for the kind of connections you want your guests to have/make.
- The author provides great short stories of great hosts.
- Assign roles to someone at the table. “Water Minister”
- Separate couples (German tradition)
- Seat people with complimentary interests.
- Introduce people as they arrive
- Be aware of bad host traits/methods- Do not gather people for your own sake and try to control them
- Do not be unprepared
- Don’t swing from chill host to tyrannical host