Building Trust Zones for Healthy Friction

Learn team engagement strategies that build a foundation of trust for more enjoyable and productive collaboration

Instructors: Sari Gluckin & Susan Stirling, Institute of Design at Illinois Tech

Date: Tuesday, September 19, 8-11:00 am Pacific (5-8pm CEST)

Location: Online

Fee: $100 USD for EPIC Members




Google’s famous study on teaming (Project Aristotle) found that high performing teams share one crucial characteristic: a climate characterized by interpersonal trust and mutual respect in which people are comfortable being themselves. Often referred to as ‘psychological safety,’ this secret ingredient is what allows team members to take risks, disagree openly and listen fully. Activating this “trust zone” allows teams of all types to unleash the full creative powers of friction in their collaborations, which in turn, allows them to achieve better, more innovative outcomes.

In this interactive tutorial, you will learn why psychological safety matters in the workplace and ways to cultivate it. We will invite participants to engage in proven strategies (from our popular course on Teaming Methods at the Institute of Design, at Illinois Tech) that build on each other and facilitate better collaboration.

These include exercises that deepen team rapport and invite self reflections. We will practice listening skills around feelings and needs and generate language and behaviors that invite diverse perspectives. Finally, participants will share ways to adapt these ideas to their own workplace and culture.

This tutorial is a “learn by doing” experience. You will engage in activities and exercises that deepen trust, both in small breakouts and larger group discussions. We will build upon what you already know and add new approaches and strategies to your teaming playbook.


Sari Gluckin
Sari Gluckin

Adjunct Faculty, Institute of Design at Illinois Tech; Founder, Wishful Thinking

Sari Gluckin has 30+ years experience as a workshop designer and facilitator where she integrates elements from business, design and the arts. In addition to her strategic facilitation practice, she developed and co-teaches courses with Susan Stirling in facilitation methods and teaming methods at the Institute of Design. Most recently Sari developed a playbook for ID Faculty on Sticky Learning Strategies based on her passion for designing engaging learning experiences. Sari holds advanced degrees in Art History (NYU Institute of Fine Arts), Business (Columbia University), and Design Methods (IIT Institute of Design).

Susan Stirling
Susan Stirling

Adjunct Faculty, Institute of Design at Illinois Tech; University of Illinois, Chicago, School of Design and Innovation Center

Susan Stirling is a designer, researcher and teacher. She teaches design research courses at University of Illinois at Chicago, and works as an advisor to teams at the UIC Innovation Center. At the Institute of Design, she and Sari Gluckin developed and co-teach courses in facilitation methods and teaming methods to graduate students. Susan received a Master of Design Methods (MDM) degree from the Institute of Design and a BS in Art from University of Wisconsin–Madison.

How to Register

Space in tutorials is limited and registration is first-come, first-served.

Tutorials ($100) and other Learning & Networking Week Programming (free) are open to all EPIC Members.

If you are not a current EPIC Member, the first step of your registration process will be to purchase a membership.

Price: Tickets are $100 USD for each tutorial

Class size: Maximum 25 participants

Location: Online

Questions? Contact