It was one of these events. Enjoyable, in presence, with a dinner.
As people started to chat with one another, it became interesting to observe how the conversations unfolded. People seemed to enjoy the opportunity to find themselves back in presence and with their peers they hadn’t seen for a long while.
On my left, the group had a constant flow of episodes they could laugh about. On my right, it was more about sharing how much one had to do to make things happen. In both groups, there was a clear leader. One the others were invited to listen to. An alternative was to contribute short elements allowing the leader to continue his flow of ideas and thoughts.
Everyone was playing the game.
Laughing about funny episodes. Learning from the experienced. Admiring the adventurous.
Everyone was served in his or her own way. The ones preferring to be entertained. The ones preferring to shine.
The purpose wasn’t to engage with the others. It was, for the individuals, to find a way to enjoy the evening. Everyone was there with his or her agenda and desire for entertainment. It worked well as pairs and groups found themselves accordingly.
Things are different when groups come to achieve a predetermined purpose. That’s the moment when they have to find a way to engage with one another.
If they don’t, they’ll move out of the meeting explaining that others weren’t listening.