Hosting a Gracefully Salon
By Brian Wesolowski
Everyone could use more grace in life, especially in today’s always-on world. A wonderful way to curate a graceful evening with friends is to host a Gracefully dinner salon. Grace is a beautiful lens and prompt that leads to engaging and uplifting conversations, which are perfectly paired with a glass of wine.
Sarah, Caresse and I have hosted a number of dinners, and each one brings new insights and connections. We’re regularly inspired by the ways “grace” resonates with people and how its application to the digital space helps guests gain a sense of control and ease.
If you’d like to host a Gracefully salon, let us know and we’d be happy to help arrange one. If you’d like to host one on your own, the following guide can help you out.
Build a captivating guest list - Invite people with different perspectives and experiences. It will make for a far more interesting and transformative conversation.
Plan your menu - Grace is about being aware of the needs of other people, so be sure to ask about any dietary restrictions and preferences.
Start with informal conversation and cocktails - It’s always helpful for people to connect a bit before diving into a curated conversation. Give your guests at least 45 minutes to get to know each other, and a great drink can be very helpful (although be sure to have a non-alcoholic option).
Get people thinking about grace - Grace means something different to everyone, so have a working definition up front to create common ground. We suggest simply “making others around you feel at ease.” Once you cover the definition, prompt your guests to think about when they feel most graceful and about graceful people in their lives. We include a card with these prompts at each seat.
Guide the conversation - Be sure everyone has a chance to speak and that no one person is dominating the conversation. Some useful prompts to interject include:
When in life do you wish you had more grace?
What moments in life is grace most present for you?
What could we be doing to live more gracefully?
Be sure to ask people to apply grace to their digital lives - We’ve found that technology and the internet are often cited are graceless, but both are ingrained parts of our lives. Uncovering ways to bring more grace to the digital realm is empowering. Some prompts to advance the conversation here include:
Are there ways technology has made your life easier?
What are examples of ungraceful tech?
Are there graceful apps?
Are there limits we should put on the use of technology to promote grace?
Now you’re ready to host your very own Gracefully Salon. We’d love to hear how it goes. And as a bonus, here’s the menu we used for our first Gracefully salon, which was graciously hosted by Mark Meyerdirk of Urban Brokers:
Cheese & crackers
Chocolate mousse with strawberries
Red & white wine