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Clock on the Ceiling

Field of application



Resume / Brief description


This activity provides participants an opportunity to experience and recognise perspective shifts.

Target group




Colleagues of the same company or work team

Colleagues working in intercultural contexts

Professionals of different area

Group size



Experience and recognize a change of perspective





  • n/a



  • 5-10 minutes

Implementation - Guidelines





1.       Process


  • The participants rise.
  • Ask them to point to the ceiling with their arm and index finger stretched out.
  • The participants draw a circle with their finger, turning clockwise.
  • Check if the direction is correct.
  • After a few turns with the arm stretched out, ask the participants to continue the turn while rotating the arm down to chest level.
  • Ask the question: "In which direction does your finger turn: clockwise or anti-clockwise?
  • Many participants will react irritated because they notice that they turn counterclockwise. 
  • Give the instruction to start over and concentrate better.
  • When the first participants leave because they realise they have done nothing wrong, they stop and start the debriefing.


2.       Debriefing


  • Bring the discussion to the following conclusion: The finger always turns in the same direction, only our perspective changes.
  • Where in life does perspective play a decisive role?

Additional format/references

Thiagarajan, S. (2013). Interactive Techniques for Instructor-Led Training.


Thiagarajan, S. (2016). Interaktive Trainingsmethoden: Thiagis Aktivitäten für berufliches, interkulturelles und politisches Lernen in Gruppen (3. Auflage.). Schwalbach: Wochenschau Verlag.