Attending to relationship
Wonderlab Container Building Activities
“The key to creating or transforming community, then, is to see the power in the small but important elements of being with others. The shift we seek needs to be embodied in each invitation we make, each relationship we encounter, and each meeting we attend. For at the most operational and practical level, after all the thinking about policy, strategy, mission, and milestones, it gets down to this: How are we going to be when we gather together?”
Whilst the concept of ‘container building’ often resides in facilitation circles, I want to draw attention to it, as it is a core building block of experimentation practice - one which enables the constructive criticism and collaborative culture on which the practice thrives.
As I shared in my writing about Relational Fields, I believe that the real work of experimentation (particularly if it is a collaborative pursuit), is in cultivating a relationship of trust between team members. This trust is the foundation for all work that happens in a Lab, allowing people to be curious and generative, whilst knowing their team is supporting them.
In our workshops and coaching sessions, we spent a little time exploring this space - intentionally allowing space for people to connect and build shared understanding.


  1. 1.
    Individuals are invited to tell their personal stories about their journey into this work (to a peer or to the group if time allows) - 5-10 mins per person as a minimum.


  • Team discussion - exploring people’s perspectives and motivations about their team’s work. Examples include Case Clinics and Appreciative Inquiry.
  • Individual & collective making to better understand one another (the circle/rings).
  • Trust Activities - icebreakers, peer walks, sharing personal stories through the likes of Critical Connections activity (Adrienne Maree Brown).
Last modified 2yr ago
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