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Field of application

Intercultural training

Resume / Brief description


This short role play illustrates cultural differences in #communication behavior (tone of voice, eye contact, degree of self-revelation). At the beginning of the activity, each participant receives a card with instructions.

Target group



  • 4- 400
  • Ideal: 12-24  


Experience of own and #external communication patterns and modification if necessary



Time: 10min for the introduction, 20min for the debriefing



  • Stopwatch
  • Handout: Role cards (for print off)
  • Signal (whistle, sound signal, etc.)

Space requirements

  • Sufficient space so that participants can move freely and regroup

Online implementation:

  • possibility to contact participants privately (e.g. private chat on Zoom) for the "role cards"
  • possibility to share a sound
  • Breakout rooms (or similar) where participants can join freely (no attribution by trainer)

Implementation - Guidelines






  • Distribution the role cards: Reading the card without showing it to anyone
  • 1. Round
    • All participants move freely through the room
    • On signal, the participants should behave as on the role cards and communicate in small groups/ in pairs
    • Neither one´s own roles nor those of others are addressed – differences should be addressed through perception
    • Signal after 3min and regrouping
  • 2. Round
    • Also like the first round



  • Inquire with whom:
    • Strange
    • Coarse
    • Irritating
    • Offensive patterns have appeared
  • After a while, emphasize, that each other of these behaviors is accepted/ desired in certain cultures
  • Participants are asked to guess the instructions of the others
  • To clarify the difference between objective perception and subjective judgement and to generate tolerance for other codes of conduct

Additional format/references

Thiagarajan, S. (2016) p. 182-190