Internalizing inspirational standards
After going to Summer Academy, I had the impression that I would really need to convince corps members to buy into our culture. Our village did a lot of role playing so we could answer the “why” questions. Why do we wear a uniform? Why can’t I jaywalk? Why can’t I keep my nose ring in?
Feeling prepared, we discussed the Excellence Standards with the corps and waited to be bombarded with questions. We waited. And waited some more.
To our surprise, there weren’t really too many questions. Most of the corps said that the rules made sense and that most of our policy’s would be expected of them at any professional organization.
The next day, everyone was following the standards.
It has been a breath of fresh air to have a corps that doesn’t feel that they are being impeded upon by our high standards of excellence. In fact, they don’t seem to be focused on themselves as much as they are focused on the kids.
Something that helped our Village to feel connected to the culture and standards was to connect these standards directly to our service. We had a long meeting about how to do this, and came up with several different areas where each culture piece lies.
We relayed it back to the corps member experience that was presented to us at Summer Academy and core values that come up again and again in City Year. We found that the standards fit nicely under these City Year values:
Having these ideas in mind when corps members do ask why we do things the way that we do has been incredibly helpful for me. It helps me keep the human aspect of our service and realize that our standards and culture are vital for the success of the service we provide.
How have you connected City Year standards to your service?