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Monday, December 19, 2011

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This is a very simple exercise that lasts just a few minutes. Yet, the discussions that may follow the exercise may continue for much longer period resulting in great participation. Therefore, as a seminar or workshop leader you may use it as an opener or an icebreaker of your program. It will be handy also as an energizer whenever you find that your audience is becoming dull and you need to wake them up. You can as well use this group exercise in your modules or sessions on communication, listening, body language, team work etc. This exercise also emphasizes that action speaks louder than words.

To start the exercise, ask every participant of your program to clap.

Each one will clap or you may even notice a few indifferent persons in your training group. Single them out and say that you want them to join in when you say "clap" the next time.

So, say "clap" again. Now you might find that almost everyone clapped.

Now this time show your disappointment on the performance of their clapping. Tell them that they did not synchronize their clapping and the clapping was very weak. It was not thunderous enough. It lacked enthusiasm and energy.

So, come to their rescue and explain that you will help them to achieve the synchronized and thunderous clapping. For achieving this, tell them that you will count “One, two, three” and then you will say, “clap”. And then everyone in the audience should clap simultaneously.

Now Count “one, two, three”. Immediately after calling "three", clap your hands without saying “clap”. You may find that a large majority of your participants would have clapped by following your action of clapping. They would not bother whether you uttered the command "clap" or not. Now shout out your command "clap" loudly. The participants will keep gaping at you.

At this stage express your surprise and question them why they did not wait for your "clap" command as was decided earlier. Why did they clap without waiting for the command?

A few participants might argue that they followed your action of clapping.

Ask the participants whether they were right in doing so? The answers will set tone for some involved discussion.

Lead the discussion to uncover the concepts of communication, listening, body language, team work and the fact that the action speaks louder than words. Wrap up your session.

Get Hold of the Related Books
You can order the following books on "management games and icebreakers" as printed books and eBooks from Amazon online:
  1. Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
  2. Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers (Volume 2)
  3. Classic Team Building Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
  4. 101 Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
Related Reading: (Repository of a large number of articles in management and leadership): and

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