Masters of Community with David Spinks
Put an End to Boring Community Events with Jacques Martiquet
November 29, 2021
In this episode of Masters of Community, we speak with Jacques Martiquet, International Party Scientist and Social Bonding Specialist, who designs custom well-being and belonging experiences for workplaces. He aims to create a high-performance culture founded on authentic human connection, psychological safety, and conscious celebration. Jacques focuses on creating social experiences that connect people, are highly memorable, and create “peak moments”. In this interview, Jacques and I geek out over social science and social design for over an hour. He walks us through his process of what it takes to create really compelling events and experiences. This interview is full of practical, actionable tips that you'll be able to apply to your community, whether you're hosting events or just trying to improve the onboarding process for your forums. Who is this episode for? Community managers who want to take inspiration from social bonding science and try new exercises to add joy to their community events. Three key takeaways: 1. Why should your community dance, sing, and laugh?: Communities often lack playful connection because they are focused on professional behavior. Dancing, singing, and laughter are hardwired into us to promote social ties. When we truly get creative, we ignite social bonding behaviors that help us build ties in our community. Intrinsic motivation within the community comes from how enjoyable the task is. 2. How to promote deep connections in your community?: Start by helping your members transition from the state of their previous event into the state of your event. To compensate for the loss of natural signals of human connection, shut off the camera or have a regular group phone call so that members can focus on the tonality of the speaker’s voice. This will lead to members being more present and building deeper connections. Humans are also wired to build connections through touch, but it may be difficult to engage in touching behaviors that are appropriate in professional settings. 3. Framework for Creating Events That Foster Deep Connection: The experience begins before the experience. The invitation, the context, the intention, and the shared purpose are incredibly important when designing a gathering. Jacques shares a checklist with participants and facilitators before the event begins, so they don’t enter the actual event with uncertainty. He also uses a few other simple-yet-powerful trust-building and mood-boosting exercises to help participants relax. Notable Quotes: 1. “The distance between two humans is a laugh or a dance move or a sing-along what I've found in leading hundreds of experiences” 2. “Formality and professionalism are oftentimes the opposite of authenticity. When we're taking ourselves less seriously, that's when we truly get creative and that's when we build social ties.” 3. “We need to see joy as a productivity hack and something that is so important for our performance within organizations” 4. “Everyone is an infinite source of positive joy and energy. We see ourselves as limitless sources of joy and positive energy.” 5. “Liminal spaces prepare people. They enable people to let go of their responsibilities, their thoughts, their stresses so that they can be fully present in the experience.” Answers to rapid-fire questions: 1. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would that food be? Mackerel Fish. 2. What's the best party you've ever been to? The roaming citywide decentralized dance party, which also introduced Jacques to Bitcoin back in 2016. 3. What's the most impactful book you've ever read or a book that you love to give as a gift to others? “Conflict = Energy” by Jason Digges, an introductory book on authentic relating to overhaul how you view human connection and how you connect with others. 4. What's your morning routine? Jacques wakes up and imagines that he has been revived from the grave. Then he goes outside and looks at the sun, does some stretches, and some inversion. His last step is a loving-kindness meditation where he will bless someone or wish someone well in his life. 5. What's a go-to engagement tactic or conversation starter you like to use in your communities? Get people moving and categorizing it as movement and not dancing 6. What's the best way to end the party? Jacques encourages his participants to come forth with recognitions for others, something they're grateful for, or something that is inspiring them. 7. What's the community or event, product, or piece of technology that you wish existed? A device, basically a plugin to Spotify that enables you to choose songs that are just like universally applicable for different moods and different contexts. 8. What is the weirdest community you've ever been to? The silent meditation retreat community called Vipassana. It's interesting because the community forms in silence with no eye contact, it's purely shared suffering. 9. Tweet-sized deathbed advice? Your quality of life is predicted by the quality of your human connections. So train your human connection skills.
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