Over the course of his career, Chris Schembra has sparked more than 400,000 relationships with the dinner table as his platform. Over plates of pasta, his signature approach to forging deep and robust connections between people have made him one of the most sought-after dinner hosts in the world. With this virutal experience, he looks to bring that same depth and connection to your remote teams.
The focus of the experience is on forging ties between individuals far greater than superficial networking. Attendees enter as strangers and leave with a level of understanding that typically only comes from years of friendship. Creating that understanding begins by encouraging a sense of gratitude.
Chris urges attendees to answer one question: “If you could give credit or thanks to one person in your life who you don’t give enough credit or thanks to, who would that be?”
Split off into groups of three, attendees take turns answering that question while sharing a safe space, an open mind and probing questions to allow a sense of gratitude to flourish. Immersive and experiential, this crucial part of the experience allows each attendee to cultivate initial connections as well as their own feelings on those who have shaped their lives.
With that sense of gratitude established, the doors open wide for further exercises.
Chris will deliver a speech on gratitude, hammering home the points made during the initial exercise, while a brief worksheet is emailed out. It is here that attendees will take their next step toward connection, bridging their sense of gratitude and the values they hold most sacred. This worksheet challenges them to think of the person for whom they were most grateful, and list of the values that person represents to them.
Then, crucially, attendees share these values with the virtual room, shouting them out one at a time. It is at this point where attendees truly see how much they have in common with these strangers around them. Over their shared values, true connections begin to form.
Attendees are urged to share that most human of art forms, a story. Specically, a story derived from the values they had shared with the group, showing how these values show up in everyday life. Storytelling has bound people together for millennia, and with this exercise we allow attendees to see their values not just as abstract concepts, but as facets of their life.
These stories, facilitated by Chris as he encourages attendees to really look at their stories and how each value informs them. Anyone who wishes to interact and share their stories is invited to come up and stage at this point.
Throughout the experience, attendees will follow the steps that support Chris central philosophy on connections.
• Gratitude leads us to define our values.
• Our values shape our stories.
• Sharing our stories teaches us empathy.
• And with empathy comes greater, more fullling connections.
From there, it’s a matter of putting those connections into action. Each attendee will be asked to leave behind a sheet of paper with their name, the person to whom they give gratitude, 10 values and three stories. From there, Chris and his team will match attendees based on shared values and encourage them to share stories with one another. Thus, even after the experience is over, the connections forged at this dinner will only deepen and grow.
Tailor-made for large groups, these special events take the dinner table connections that have been Chris Schembra’s calling card and deliver them to your company. Far more than a typical conference, attendees will truly grow closer as a community and as individuals and will share much deeper, more life-long connections. And ultimately, connection is what each of us looks for in business and in life.