Draw !

Use this straightforward task to intrigue colleagues or to make a point. There’s a lesson to be learnt. All you need is a piece of paper and pen - nothing tricky so far.

Guide lines
Ready, Steady, Go!

Everyone processes information differently. This demonstrates how we can hear the same thing, but think something different. It shows just how difficult it is to achieve crystal clear communication.


How are your drawing skills… want to try out a simple idea?

Lend me your ears

Hand the piece of paper and pen (or pencil) to the person you’re speaking to.


Don’t worry, you don’t need to be an artist for this… you just have to listen carefully… please draw a circle.

They will do so.


Good job… now on top of that, draw a square.

Wait for them to draw it.


Good, now on top of that, draw a triangle.

They will complete their drawing.


Full marks.

Seal the Deal and Reveal

They should be happy with the feedback and ready for the reveal. Take the piece of paper and run through your commands again.


But what I asked was for you to please draw a circle…

Draw your own circle alongside theirs.


On top of that, draw a square.

Reveal where your perceptions have differed… draw the square directly above, on top of the circle - not over the circle.


Now on top of that draw a triangle

Complete the drawing with your triangle directly north of, above the square - so all shapes are stacked like a totem pole and not directly on top of one another.

This should at least get a smile.


Such a simple task, with different outcomes.

Some extra lines you can try

  • Who’s right and who’s wrong?
  • So next time you disagree with a colleague, consider that you both could be right.
  • Next time you argue with your husband or wife, remember that you both might be right.
  • One man’s geometric shape tower is another man’s geometric shape soup.
Alternative ending

Doodle a simple art gallery frame around both drawings.


I call this piece, ‘Everyone has a different point of view’.

Anticipated responses and retorts

Does anyone ever draw it your way?

I am still searching for the one.

What do you think of my drawing skills.

You got talent.

What does this really teach us?

Life is all about shapes and sizes.
Good follow ups
When & where
When to use it
  • When you are wanting to make a point about how we all understand things differently.
  • When in a social setting at work and you want to get people loosened up and thinking.
  • When people need some inspiration because they are battling to communicate.
Where to use it
  • office
  • sales meetings
  • mentoring
  • leadership forums
Getting ready
Items required
  • a piece of paper
  • a pen
  • Place the piece of paper on a table and you are good to go.
Training required
  • If you can draw a circle you will be a master.
Watch out (potential unexpected effects)
  • People are going to ask you to show them another, so have some more mind benders on hand.

type type

Do It Yourself (DIY)

material material


size size

paper thin

durability durability

it is paper - don’t sweat it

source source

a friend

time to impact time to impact

pretty much there and then

size of audience size of audience

one-on-one is best

possible health risk possible health risk

safe as houses

reusable how many times you can use it

once per person

training needed training needed


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