“Wow, that’s deep. No one’s ever asked me that before.”

When I talk to people, I hear the same kind of thing over & over. “This is free therapy with a friend, how do you do it?” And, “Does everyone spill their souls when you ask a question, or is it just me? I wish my husband and I could talk like this.”

These kind of remarks got me thinking, what ingredients are needed to cultivate deep human connection? Can we isolate the variables and design better quality conversations for everyone? The answer is: absolutely.

Unleash stories. Each person, no matter their age, occupation or creed has a tremendous story to share. A vast tapestry of experiences, truths & wisdoms lies in the vault of the mind, waiting to be unlocked. It takes the slightest nudge to get us talking about our inner lives, the details & dynamics of being human.

We’ve got to find a way of revealing who we are without the mask of who we should be. When people open up about the real stuff, the unimaginable power of conversation & connection become available to everyone at the table. I think that’s what Oprah meant when she said “Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.”

Deepen relationships. “We already know everything there is to know about each other.” This couldn’t be farther from the truth, even in the most intimate relationships. We’ve got to ask each other the right questions, in the right way, to tap into things we’ve never thought about before.

Being in a relationship with another person comes with a certain kind of responsibility — we’re in charge connecting and keeping that connection fresh, deep & bold. Otherwise we fall into a rut and a rut can’t propel learning or evolution for either party. Relationships are reinvigorated when we delve & discover new things about each other, things that we never made the time or space for before.

Spark joy & meaning. We have a soft spot for Marie Kondo’s phrase “spark joy.” But joy without meaning isn’t sustainable. Where does meaning come from? In most cases, meaning comes from the electricity we feel when we connect with one another and with ourselves.

In most conversations, we’re preparing our own response when another person is speaking. We have to time our comments perfectly while thinking about formulating coherent sentences. This transactional approach doesn’t lead to depth or meaning. If we don’t put aside our need to prove something, listening becomes secondary to making our point. Meaning & magic are made when everyone can speak authentically, without agenda, and listen wholeheartedly to one another.

How do we empower people to connect this way? The cry for connection is clear. We all want meaningful relationships. The truth is, most of us just don’t know what to ask to spark a deep conversation, and if we do, it takes a lot of courage to ask the question.

That’s why we developed Gather — a conversation format designed to ask the right questions, in the most effective way, to help people get closer. Closer to each other. Closer to clarity. Closer to sustainable joy.

Please support Gather Conversations on Kickstarter so we can empower people everywhere with the tools they need to connect meaningfully.

Go deep! Everything else is small talk.