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Hosts

Cultivating inclusive and welcoming spaces

Tagline

Who says a party can’t change the world?

Sometimes Known As

Facilitators, Space Creators, Event Managers, Community Managers, Meeting Coordinators

Role

Hosts master the art of creating welcoming spaces—be it physical or virtual—where individuals can gather, connect, interact, and exchange ideas. They cultivate spaces for rest, healing, and brave conversations.

Jobs a Host Might Hold

  • Education: Principal

  • Legal: Client Relations Manager

  • Healthcare: Patient Experience Coordinator 

  • Technology: Community Manager for Tech Forums 

  • Construction: Showroom Host

  • Science: Lab Visitor Coordinator

  • Art: Gallery Host

Personality

Hosts are friendly, accommodating, and social. They are great at making people feel comfortable and are proactive problem solvers. They thrive in dynamic environments and enjoy bringing people together

Skills

Hosts, with their unique blend of skills, play a vital role in creating welcoming and inclusive experiences for their guests:

  • Communication: Connecting and building bridges through dialogue.

  • Event Planning: Coordinating every detail of an event.

  • Problem-Solving: Finding solutions to complex challenges.

  • Networking: Interacting with others, exchanging information, and developing professional or social contacts.

  • Attention to Detail: Accomplishing a task while demonstrating a thorough concern for all the areas involved, no matter how small.

Nemesis

The Isolator: Those who prefer segregation over integration and create barriers rather than bridges—negating the host’s efforts.

Frenemy

  • Jesters: Will the jester’s satire disrupt the harmony of a space, conflicting with the host’s aim to create welcoming environments?

  • Negotiators: While the consensus-building approach of the negotiator is vital, will it overlook the host’s focus on the experiential and atmospheric aspects of space?

Traps

Creating welcoming spaces comes with its own set of challenges:

 

  • People-Pleasing: Hosts might fall into the trap of excessively trying to please everyone, leading to a loss of authenticity and a lack of clear boundaries. This overemphasis on accommodating others can result in neglecting their own values and needs.

  • Loss of Objectivity: In their role as facilitators and conveners, hosts can become too involved in the dynamics of the group, losing their objectivity. This can lead to biased decision-making and hinder their ability to effectively manage group interactions and conflicts.

  • Overextension: Hosts may overextend themselves in their efforts to create welcoming and inclusive spaces. This can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion, diminishing their ability to provide effective hosting and potentially compromising the quality of the space they are trying to create.

Why They Are Essential For Transformation

Hosts are vital in organizations for fostering connections and creating inclusive environments that encourage dialogue and collaboration. They help facilitate meaningful exchanges and ensure that people feel valued and heard.

Focus For The Host’s Inner Work:
Self-Recognition

In their pursuit of creating welcoming spaces, hosts often find themselves placing the needs and comforts of others before their own. That's why the inner work focus for hosts is self-recognition. Hosts need to remember their ability to facilitate effectively is tied to their well-being on multiple levels. Physically, a well-rested and healthy host can offer more energetic and attentive engagement. Emotionally, by acknowledging and addressing their own feelings, they can interact with guests from a place of genuine understanding and empathy. Spiritually, by connecting to their inner self and purpose, hosts can create experiences that resonate deeply and meaningfully with their guests. As they navigate these responsibilities, hosts must continuously recognize and affirm their worth, ensuring they prioritize their holistic well-being amidst their duties.

On The Host’s Bookshelf

To support hosts in their personal and professional journey, the following books are recommended:

About The Host

Hosts are the changemakers who are in charge of creating welcoming spaces. Their role is to bring people together so that they can get conversations and collaborations going—ultimately leading to transformative change. They're great at making people feel comfortable and at ease, are naturally friendly and outgoing, and have a talent for making conversations and building connections with others. They genuinely enjoy being around people and making them happy.

 

When a welcoming and inviting atmosphere is called for, hosts' talents really shine. They are attuned to the needs and preferences of guests and can tailor their hosting style for almost anyone, including those from many different backgrounds and cultures. They are able to think ahead and anticipate the needs of guests, making sure everything runs smoothly. They also plan and execute events well, often coordinating with other service providers such as caterers and entertainers.

These changemakers are good organizers, planners, listeners, and multitaskers, which enables them to create spaces for connection and conversation. They show us how bringing people together and making them feel valued and heard can be the perfect formula for sparking change.

Hosts In Real Life

Each of these changemakers exemplifies the qualities of a host, bringing people together and building connections across various fields.

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United States

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Iraq/United States

Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson for the Global Environment Facility, hosts international discussions and forums focusing on sustainable development and environmental issues. Her leadership brings together global experts, policymakers, and activists to address ecological challenges. Her role exemplifies hosting at a global scale, facilitating dialogue and action for environmental preservation.

Ira Glass is the celebrated host and creator of "This American Life," a groundbreaking radio show that explores a wide range of human experiences through storytelling. His approach to hosting combines curiosity, empathy, and a keen sense for narrative, creating a platform that delves into the complexities of life and culture. Glass's work has significantly influenced the landscape of narrative journalism and podcasting.

Zainab Salbi is a humanitarian, author, and media host widely recognized for her efforts in advocating for women's rights and freedom. As the founder of Women for Women International and the host of several TV shows, including "#MeToo, Now What?" on PBS, she creates spaces for critical conversations on social issues, emphasizing empowerment and change. Salbi's work spans across global platforms, highlighting her commitment to addressing and resolving humanitarian and gender-related challenges.

Quotes

“Accepting that the chaos is normal and natural will help us claim our creative potential in it. Accepting the chaos allows us to stop demanding impossible things from each other (such as clear prophetic answers on how everything in the future is going to work) and shift into inviting each other into co-creation of futures that work for us.”

— Adrienne Maree Brown,

Holding Change: The Way of Emergent Strategy Facilitation and Mediation

“Your opening needs to be a kind of pleasant shock therapy. It should grab people. And in grabbing them, it should both awe the guests and honor them. It must plant in them the paradoxical feeling of being totally welcomed and deeply grateful to be there.”

— Priya Parker,

The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters

“...to the soul, the most minute details and the most ordinary activities, carried out with mindfulness and art, have an effect far beyond their apparent insignificance.”

― Thomas Moore,

Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life

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