Name Circle

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An interactive game for learning the names of the group members and how to pronounce them.

Time 15 minutes

Group Size 10-30 people

Keywords Names, Getting-to-know each other


Working Between Cultures


Handbook #2
Steps toward action

E. Heublein, N. Zimmermann

Second Handbooks for Facilitators: Read more


The goal of this activity is for all the group members (participants and facilitators) to learn the correct pronunciation for the names of everybody in the group.


The group stands in a circle. Each participant says their name loudly. The group repeats the name, concentrating on the right pronunciation. The speaker corrects them, if necessary.

One person starts. Person A picks one person (B) from the circle and walks quickly to him/her. When he/she arrives in front of person B, person A says his/her own name very loudly, so that the whole circle can hear it.

Immediately after that, person B steps out into the circle and walks to a new person (C). Person A takes the place of person B in the circle. After that, person C walks to another target person (D) and so on. This is repeated several times, until everyone has had at least one turn.[5 minutes]

The above procedure is repeated, only that this time, person A doesn’t say his/her own name at arrival, but person B’s name. Again, the names need to be said loudly and the pace should be very quick. If person A cannot remember person B’s name, person B should help out by saying his/her name. [5 minutes]

The procedure basically stays the same, only that this time, when person A stands in front of person B, he/she says the name of a third person (C), and person B walks quickly over to person C and repeats the procedure.[5 minutes]


The game is always a lot of fun and actively involves everybody. If you feel that the group needs more energy, as a trainer can walk out into the circle towards another person, so that 2 or even 3 people are moving in the circle at the same time.


Elke Heublein

Co-founder of Working Between Cultures. Co-author of Holistic learning. Facilitator since 2004, certified intercultural facilitator (Institute for Intercultural Communikation, LMU München) and trainer (IHK Akademie München/Westerham), adult education (Foundation University Hildesheim). Focus: Cooperation and leadership in heterogenouos teams, higher education, train-the-trainer.