Name of the tool:


What the result will look like:

A set of posters depicting the sets of formal and informal rules relevant for different stakeholders.

Description of the tool:

Playing by the Rules is an engaging learning exercise designed to explore and understand the professional universe of the individuals who contribute to the well-being of the beneficiaries, with the aim of adopting a realistic, empathic and mindful approach to improving performance.

The exercise can be carried out within a group of clown artists or it can involve other different types of stakeholders (medical staff, nursing staff, managers, etc.) if the exercise is carried out in a setting that allows the presence of external actors.

Usually, in the latter scenario, the exercise is conducted with the primary aim of understanding the context of a partnership and jointly defining the context for setting common goals and work.

Participants work together to create visual posters depicting the rules governing the roles of different relevant actors (e.g. health workers, social workers, clown artists). The posters give an insight into the reality of each professional role.

Participants can add details about likes, dislikes, what can be a barrier, what are the motivations, etc. A facilitated discussion follows, encouraging participants to compare realities, find common ground and promote constructive collaboration.

When it can be used:

Through “Play it by the Rules,” participants gain a comprehensive understanding of the diverse professional perspectives.

This exercise promotes empathy, facilitates dialogue, and identifies opportunities for collaborative efforts to enhance the overall well-being of beneficiaries.
This exercise is most effective during the learning and development phase, offering participants a unique opportunity to explore and appreciate the varied professional landscapes.

It contributes to efforts in designing efficient progamming.

Who it’s useful for:

This tool can help artists gain a better understanding of the different factors that can shape the success of a clown visit.

It can also be beneficial for project managers and other staff members in the clowning organisation that are interested in analysing relevant partnerships and ways to improve collaboration.

If the exercise is done in a larger, more heterogeneous group, its benefits extend fostering understanding, collaboration, and innovation among diverse stakeholders in healthcare settings.

It enables healthcare staff to find common ground with clown artists, leading to shared goals and more effective problem solving.

Ultimately, the exercise creates a platform for improved relationships, empathy and shared responsibility between the stakeholders involved, which has a positive impact on the overall wellbeing of beneficiaries.

Length of process:

The “Play it by the Rules” exercise can be integrated in a larger event or can be organised as a standalone workshop. It typically takes 90 to 120 minutes, allowing sufficient time for poster creation, sharing, and in-depth discussion.

Main features - advantages:

Visual Representation: Posters offer a visually impactful representation of the rules and realities of different professional roles.

Empathy Building: Participants gain insights into the motivations, likes, and dislikes of each role, fostering empathy and understanding.

Collaborative Dialogue: Facilitates open and constructive conversations on common ground, differences, and potential areas of collaboration.

Strategic Negotiation: Encourages participants to explore how different roles can work together strategically to achieve shared well-being goals.

Main features - disadvantages:

Subjectivity: Interpretations may vary based on individual perspectives and experiences.

Prior research: It is important to include the perspectives of the different stakeholders. If they are unable to attend the workshop itself, it is important to carry out prior research and gather comprehensive data so that the posters reflect the real experiences of the stakeholders.

Guidelines for implementation:

Assure fair representation: If the exercise is done only in a group representing artistic organisation, make sure that all roles represented are clearly defined and assigned. If posters are to be made on behalf of a type of stakeholder that is not present in the room, make sure that the participants that are imagining the rules governing a certain group have a clear, un-biased understanding of that group.

Poster Creation: Provide materials for creating visually expressive posters that encapsulate rules, likes, dislikes, and motivations.

Sharing Session: Allow participants to present and share their posters, fostering a collective understanding.

Facilitated Discussion: Guide a discussion on commonalities, differences, and collaborative opportunities among the professional roles.

Action Planning: Encourage participants to collaboratively develop action plans for constructive interprofessional collaboration.

Tool in practice:

This tool was used as part of PAR – Participatory Action Research (a research coordinated by the Leyden Academy of Ageing and Vitality in collaboration with RED NOSES International, CliniClowns Netherlands, ROTE NASEN Clowndoctors in Austria and ROTE NASEN Deutschland).

Attachments / Images:

See a description of the method here.

This video was an in-house production by CliniClowns for training puroposes, it is not intended for dissemination.

Origin of the tool:

This tool was part of the PAR methodology proposed by the Leyden Academy of Ageing and Vitality.