A podcast dedicated to circulating the practices and mechanisms that make resilient, rewarding and effective organizations and movements.
In this toolbox episode, we talk to Steve Hughes of the European Community Organizing Network and union scholar and organizer Jane McAlevey about “the one-on-one” — a keystone technique that has informed the craft of professional organizing for decades.
Despite the ubiquity of this technique, however, the question of how to properly deploy it is the subject of debate: in what order should one structure the conversation? What elements must the one-on-one have? What should it reveal? When?
Over the course of this first input then, we uncover multiple functions of having “structured” one-on-one conversations with the people around us that we want to organize with. While often we think of it as a technique that, if applied correctly, can guarantee commitment from others, our conversations here reveal that one-on-ones have a variety of other functions.
They serve as a means to identify issues within a particular community or social base. They help us uncover the range of discourses and frames through which people come to understand issues and the demands circulating around them. What’s more, they also operate as foundational feedback loops through which an initiative comes to understand itself, the issue, and the demand through the eyes of the very social bases they wish to empower and transform.
Over the course of these conversations, we hope to provide insights into structured one-on-one conversations so that our listeners can incorporate these into their own toolbox. This input will form the beginning of a long series of toolbox episodes that will be specifically dedicated to having one-on-one conversations.
Source URL — https://roarmag.org/2021/10/05/spadework-toolbox-one-on-one/