Model Discussion and Training with YMCA of the USA

The Y is an inclusive organization of men, women and children joined together by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility.


To get staff and volunteers engaged in the cause of the Y, we must give them time, space and permission to reflect on their beliefs about people and communities, the meaning of their individual efforts, and ultimately our organization.


--Brian Kridler

Project Director of Strategic Innovation, YMCA of the USA

Audience Focus

A group of Y CEO's, 10 Y Chief Operating Officers, and other Y team members and leaders


  1. Develop skills to build community among Y staff and Y members
  2. Provide clear tools to help people think about why they do what they do -- not only how they get done what they need to get done
  3. Deepen commitment to Y's and the communities that host them
People posing in YMCA shirts

Project Description

CCR worked with the YMCA of the USA to engage their CEO's, Chief Operating Officers, and other staff in thinking deeply about why they do what they do and how to integrate reflective dialogue into their work at Y's across the country. The project started with a model discussion led by a CCR facilitator on the theme of community with a group of Y CEO's. This model discussion was followed by CCR-led trainings over a nine-month period that helped a group of 10 Chief Operating Officers plan, lead, and implement reflective discussions. CCR met with leaders of the Y throughout the year to refine strategies and goals for the process. Toward the end of the nine months, participants began leading their own discussions and brainstorming how to implement reflective discussion at their home YMCA's.


  1. Built community across 10 different Y's among senior leadership and other staff
  2. Helped YMCA leaders to reflect on the purpose of their work and how they are carrying it out
  3. Helped Y leaders to develop skills (facilitation, planning discussions) that they can take back and use with colleagues and community members
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