Author Priya Parker to lead experiential workshop at Workhuman Live 2020

October 24, 2019 Sarah Payne

3-minute read

Priya Parker

Thanksgiving is fast approaching for those of us who celebrate in the U.S. Are you hosting family? Or are you one of the lucky ones who gets to just show up and pig out on pie? (I’m grateful that I fall into the latter group this year). All the stress and anxiety surrounding an event that’s supposed to be about gratitude and connection begs the question: Do we have gatherings all wrong? Could we do better?

Author, facilitator, and strategic advisor Priya Parker thinks so. “The art of gathering begins with purpose,” she writes in her book “The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why Matters.” And yet too often when we gather for weddings, parties, business meetings, and other events, we jump too quickly to traditional form factors and categories (venue, food, etc.) and neglect to define the ultimate purpose of the gathering.

Attendees of Workhuman® Live, May 11-14, 2020, in San Antonio, are in for a treat. We’re offering something completely new on the first day of the conference: Priya will lead an art of gathering live experience. Attendees will have the opportunity to connect with each other in new ways and share a memorable experience that demonstrates how gathering is a form of leadership. You’ll leave with a renewed sense of community to kick off your week of education, inspiration, and networking in San Antonio.

Trained in the field of conflict resolution, Priya is the ideal facilitator to lead this brand new Workhuman Live experience. She has worked on race relations on American college campuses and on peace processes in the Arab world, southern Africa, and India, and her TED talk on transformative gatherings has been viewed more than 1.5 million times. Priya studied organizational design at M.I.T., public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and political and social thought at the University of Virginia.

To give you a sneak peek at some of Priya’s content, here are my top three takeaways from her TED talk on creating more meaningful gatherings:

  1. Embrace a specific disputable purpose. For example, what is the purpose of your company holiday party? Start there and the gathering will inherently become more meaningful.
  2. Cause good controversy. “The best gatherings learn to cultivate good controversy because human connection is as threatened by unhealthy peace as by unhealthy conflict,” says Priya.
  3. Create a temporary alternative world with pop-up rules. Priya argues this allows us to gather across differences. She gives an example of a mothers’ group gathering – in order to connect beyond parenthood, the first mother to talk about her child has to take a shot.

“The way we gather matters because how we gather is how we live,” Priya says in her TED talk. Imagine how you could transform meetings and annual employee events like summer outings and holiday parties if you started with purpose. If you could infuse more connection and meaning into these functions, wouldn’t you?

Be a part of this dynamic, live laboratory experience with Priya. Register today for Workhuman Live.

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About the Author

Sarah Payne

Sarah is managing editor at Workhuman. When not writing about all things culture, leadership, recognition, and appreciation, she enjoys iced coffee, running, and spending time with her daughter, Mabel.

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