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Watch Swap – Free Energiser

Duration: 2 minutes to set up and then 5 minutes

Intended for:

To help participants appreciate that change can sometimes be uncomfortable, hard to do and easy to switch back from.

This free energiser is particularly useful for training courses about change. However, it can be useful in all training courses where you want to emphasise a need to change.

Training course contents:

The instructions for the energiser, ‘Watch Swap’ can be downloaded for free from the link at the bottom of this page, or you can follow the notes below.

Resources Needed – none personally, but you must ensure at least two or three participants have a wrist watch. Instructions


Right at the start of a training course, ask anyone that has a wristwatch to take it off and place it on the other arm to the one they wear it on.

Do not mention the wristwatch again throughout the training course. People will probably ask you about it, but simply shrug your shoulders of perhaps say something like, ‘I’ll tell you later’. Don’t be tempted to give them any more information though.

At the end of the training course, almost as an afterthought (or you can be really mean and begin to end the course and wait for someone to ask you), ask the participants how they got on with having their watch on the wrong wrist.

Usually you will find the following…
a. Some participants will say that they got fed up and moved it to the other wrist (this is great for the meaning of the energiser)

b. Some participants will say that it felt really strange and uncomfortable and that they kept looking at the wrong wrist (i.e. going back to the way things were)

c. Some participants will say they didn’t bother switching because they thought it was stupid

d. Some participants will say that they swap their watch to the other wrist all the time, so it felt fine to them

Review the energiser by saying that the watch swap is a metaphor for change. All the things they experienced with the watch; changing it to the ‘normal’ wrist, feeling uncomfortable, thinking it is stupid or even coping well because they always do it is an example of how people feel about change.

End by explaining that change can be difficult and yet over time it becomes the norm and even a better way of doing things. Perhaps link to the change curve too.


This energiser is really simple to implement, but don’t correctly it can really have a big impact on the participants and emphasises change issues very well. It also leaves participants thinking at the end of a training course.

Watch Swap – Free Energiser


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