1-on-1 Organizing Conversations Series

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This page is a collection and curation of my ongoing series of blog posts on 1-on-1 organizing conversations. Most of it is written from the standpoint of a worker organizing their workplace, but I think the same basic principles apply, with minor adjustments, to other realms like community organizing and staff organizers.

Just as 1-on-1 conversations look different depending on different places of organizing, so all of it is very context-dependent on the specifics of the workplace, of the industry, of the grievances, and, most of all, on the particular relationship you have with the person you’re talking with. If you find you’re not having success with 1-on-1s or don’t know how to start having them, it’s often best to just slow down and spend time getting to know your coworkers (see some tips on that here). First building a basic foundation of respect, trust, and familiarity with your coworkers can make organizing feel like paddling down a river instead of paddling up it.

  • An Introduction to 1-on-1 Organizing Conversations
    • Here I give an overview of 1-on-1s and the AEIOU framework (agitate-educate-inoculate-organize-uplift) in the context of organizing with a coworker who’s starting to get involved. All other posts in this series are built on AEIOU as discussed here.
  • Organizing Is Not about Getting People to Agree with Radical Ideas
    • Newly radicalized people often get excited about radicalizing other people through intellectual argument and sometimes use this approach in 1-on-1s, but that’s actually not how we should think about organizing. Rather, building power with our coworkers is about using social relationships to re-examine and re-interpret our circumstances as workers and what it would take to make things better. Spreading radical ideas is better thought of as an important and inevitable byproduct rather than an immediate aim of good organizing. Stick to AEIOU and you’ll have more success.
  • Species of 1-on-1s
    • In this post I go over how AEIOU can be applied to a wider range of 1-on-1 organizing conversations than just the first 1-on-1 you have with a coworker.
  • Agitation and the 1-on-1
    • Here I go deeper into the first step of AEIOU by looking at many of the challenges and mistakes I’ve made while agitating and thinking about how to do it better.
  • Education and the 1-on-1
    • In this post I tease out some of the intricacies and challenges that arise in the educate step of AEIOU.
  • Preparation and Taking Notes for 1-on-1s
    • Here I talk about simple but effective ways to prepare for 1-on-1s and how to keep track of information shared with you that your coworkers consider important.
  • Manipulation and Trust in Organizing
    • Knowing what manipulation looks like in organizing helps us avoid it in ourselves and others. The kind of relationships we want to build with coworkers through 1-on-1s are held together by trust.