Column: The art of gathering

ESCANABA — While mindlessly scrolling through the Internet, I stopped at a graphic that caught my eye. It turns out to have been a book cover titled The Art of Gathering, How We Meet & Why It Matters.

Although I cannot vouch for the contents of the book, the title alone sparked inspiration. Have you ever thought of networking as not just something we need to do or should do, but as something we get to do? If you change the perspective of thinking of networking as a means to an end or self-promoting and transition it to the richness of gathering, it truly does become an art.

As part facilitator, part student of the Delta Force Leadership Program one of the greatest takeaways this far has been the power of connecting with others.

Each session of the nine-month program puts you in the room with the people that help shape this community. After just four sessions, we have accumulated resources from the leaders in Community Leadership, Economic Development, Government, and Education. One thing that these opportunities taught me is that any concerns, ideas, or questions that you may have about your community, the conversation is already being had if not action already being taken to address these things. It is inspiring when you are in the right place with the right people and you get insight in all of the powerful ways people are working to better things for all of us. You may not always see these things at work, many individuals and actions fly under the radar, but I can promise you there always someone working tirelessly to improve our community.

You do not have to be a part of Delta Force to have those opportunities. There are many ways to get involved. One great way the Delta County Chamber facilitates the art of gathering is through the monthly Business After Hours. I encourage everyone to start finding ways to engage with the people in this community. Whether your role is simply to listen and take in what others are doing or if you want to dive in and join the action, gathering with others matters.

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Nicole Smith is communications director at the Delta County Chamber of Commerce

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