Too many of our gatherings don't end. They simply stop.
Says Priya Parker, author of The Art of Gathering. In this piece, we explore her learnings about closing an event in a meaningful way.
CHECKOUTS ARE FOR ROOMS ONLY
Don't let the energy of the last day of the retreat die, overdosing on logistics. Only rooms should be checked out off, people should still be fully present.
Just as you started with intention, be thoughtful in the way you plan to end this experience. What will they take with them Home?
THE PEAK-END RULE
We should never underestimate how biased our human brains are. As Lexie Kane, User Experience Specialist puts it, 'Impressions Become Memories'.
The peak-end rule explains that what you will have experienced the most intensely, whether it is positive or negative, as well as what you'll have experienced last will be what will stay with you.
That is why you want to make the end of your event emotionally memorable in the most positive way possible.
Something as simple as closing with a round of compliments and appreciation for one another can go a very long way.
Acknowledge that the end is coming before it actually happens. Bars have the tradition of the last call, a last chance to order before the place closes. It is all about managing expectations and mentally preparing your team for what is to come. As people realize that the end of the event approaches they might be inspired to take a chance on connecting with someone, speaking up about an idea they just had o,r simply taking one last dip in the pool. Whatever it is, they are preparing to close this journey in their own way.
IMPLEMENTATION STARTS NOW
Any successful gathering will have brought some new ideas and reflections for the group as well as the individual. Give both an opportunity to reflect to increase the chances that those new seeds will sprout.
Invite the people to look inward, sharing or not, with the rest of the group about their personal reflections and learnings. And then look outward: encourage the group to gather as one and celebrate the bonds that were strengthened or created here.
Finally, bring them to look forward: what are we excited about next?
Make the end as memorable as the rest of the stay, close with intention and you will not lose the momentum your retreat created.