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Synchronised Clapping

Field of application


Experience of action

Resume / Brief description


Synchronised Clapping is a very easy, short exercise that requires no equipment and the size of the group does not matter.

Target group





Colleagues of the same company or work team

Colleagues working in intercultural contexts

Professionals of different area

Group size



The activity has the objective


  • To experience that action has more effect than words.




  • n/a



  • 2 minutes for the activity
  • 10minutes for the debriefing

Implementation - Guidelines





1.       Process


  • Ask the participants to clap their hands and wait until everyone has done so.
  • Complain about the miserable result.
  • You want all participants to clap at the same time, so that the listener can hear a single thunderclap.
  • Indicate that you use a non-electronic power support system to ensure synchronisation.
  • You will count to three and then clap their hands. At the word "clap" all should clap at the same time.
  • Now count "one, two, three". After the number three, you will clap without saying the word "clap”. After most participants have also clapped, they act surprised and now say "clap".
  • Ask the participants why they did not follow the instructions and did not wait for the word "clap". Someone will probably say, "But they clapped themselves." In response, ask them if they would throw themselves off the cliff just because they did.


2.       Debriefing


  • What did the participants learn during the activity?

Additional format/references

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