There’s a teambuilding exercise we do at YWCA Clark County, and every time I participate in it, I feel pride in myself, and in those I work with. We’re handed an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper, which lists each one of YWCA’s core values:
- empowerment – we provide the tools and support that build self esteem and foster positive life choices
- diversity – we celebrate and respect our differences and recognize the dignity of each individual teamwork – we cooperate to achieve our shared vision
- commitment – we believe in and live our mission and are authentic in our word and deed
- service – we are leaders in providing quality and innovative service in a caring, compassionate, safe environment
- respect – we value and honor individual ideas, contributions and opinions
We’re then asked to choose a value that we resonate with, and to describe how that value is significant to the work we do at YWCA. I admit that I almost always choose empowerment.
I’ve worked in a number of different places, and I’ve never experienced empowerment like I do at YWCA Clark County. Not only is it a leading value in the work we do with participants, but empowerment is stitched into the fabric of daily life at YWCA. You can walk down the hall any day, and see empowerment in action. Sometimes, it’s a supervisor providing a leadership role to a team member. Other times, it’s through the interaction of a father with his child, when he listens to her intently as she describes her day. And often, I witness empowerment in the smiles and conversations of those who’ve just attended a support group or a class on domestic violence.
The 5 other values, which make up YWCA’s core values are shared throughout the course of the exercise. It’s a great teambuilder. We all get to know each other in the context of our shared values.
YWCA employs a similar exercise during all staff meetings, when staff are encouraged to recognize a team member who has demonstrated a core value. We name the value and share how this person has exemplified it in their work. In the end, we come out of the exercise feeling pride in our selves, in each other, and in the work we do. Practicing this acknowledgment helps remind us of why we do this work, and that we’re not alone in seeking the best for our community.
Right now, YWCA is offering an opportunity for all people in the community to join YWCA in this teambuilding exercise. Here’s how you can join in!