Walk Through a ConversationLab
All phones need to be turned off and away from the table. No drinks or other miscellaneous personal items can be on the table. We are wanting a clear, clean surface so that everyone’s attention is focused on the conversation.
Because there is a 1 hour timer, it is important that each of these are fully drained and ready to be flipped to start the 1 hour.
Depending on how many tables will be used, the Lab Box can be set on the table or the Lab Mat and the tent can be set up with the timers and the cube. The group can do this for themselves if the facilitators so choose. Ideally, the Lab Box can be set on a small table adjacent to the larger surface that holds the Lab Mat.
The Cube provides step-by-step directions for the participants. It is designed to be read aloud, and if people have questions, they ask at each step. Reading aloud slowly and deliberately brings the group together. Racing through or slurring the words is not helpful.
The following displays the six sides of the Directions Cube. Read each aloud and it will demonstrate the walk-through of the basic ConversationLab.
At the end of the Lab, we do not debrief. Our experience is that participants are processing significant amounts and depths of information and they have feelings about what they have heard and spoken. They are not ready to intellectualize or make judgments about their experience. It is advisable to enable the participants to go for a walk or take a break of some kind before they enter into their next planned activity.
We do recommend “book-ending” a workshop with a ConversationLab at the beginning and at the end of the day. This weaves the social-emotional learning and human connection via stories that they have experienced. Participants will leave on a positive note, and one that they will continue to ponder in the hours and days to come.
Tender arenas like Money or Relationships or Family – all become taboo to talk about in a casual way. The ConversationLabs opened a space in a way that had never been done – almost like a new field of play, a gateway to a new field.