“Organizers ask three questions: Who are my people? What is their urgent problem? How can they turn their resources into the power to solve their problem? They answer the questions in dialogue with their constituency by building relationships, telling stories, devising strategy, designing structure, and taking action.” ~ Marshall Ganz, 2013
Foundations of hosting one-on-one talks.
Organizing principles for one to ones:
-- Power is in the relationship.
-- People act together when they have personal connections.
-- Knowing you’re not along can build solidarity.
What is a one to one?
-- A 15 to 30 minute, face-to-face meeting.
-- A way to strengthen relationships with others in the building, organization, or community.
-- A way to understand someone’s personal concerns so we can cooperate to build the type of workplace and community we all deserve.
What does a one to one include?
-- Introduction: explain who you are and why you want to meet.
-- Connection: share something personal about yourself and about the work of building a stronger local.
-- Focus: listening, asking WHY questions, pay attention to their ideas.
-- Invitation: offer the person an opportunity to take a step in creating change.
-- Referral: who else would they suggest you speak with?
Focus of one to one conversations:
-- Personal story. Possible questions: how long have you been a teacher or ESP? Why did you chose to become one? Why do you remain in your job? what other things are you involved with? Why?
-- Concerns. Possible questions: what is your greatest need? What keeps you up at night? What makes you happy? What is the greatest need in the school? why do you think that?
-- Vision. Possible questions: what’s your vision for this union? This community?
Remember the BASICS OF LISTENING:
-- Focus on the person: make appropriate eye contact, use open body language, give people verbal and physical indications that you hear them.
-- Be patient; don’t interrupt: ask follow-up questions, ask why; let their thoughts guide the conversation.
-- Reflect back on what you heard to show you care and that you are listening. Show genuine interest and curiosity in the other person.
Things to avoid:
-- Asking questions mechanically as if taking a survey.
-- Being judgmental of what you hear.
-- Trying to “fix” the other person’s problems in the conversation.
Field Representative ~ Membership & Organizational Development
New Jersey Education Association