Training Volunteers to Do One-On-One Meetings

As your group gets bigger, you won’t be able to meet with every core member every week. You should prioritize you time by meeting with the top volunteers. Train other leaders to do individual meetings with newer volunteers. This will help make sure everyone is getting individual attention, and it will also help your top volunteers develop their skills.

Training Agenda

1)     Overview of why one-on-one meetings are important (3 mins)

  • One-on-one meetings are a key tool for getting volunteers more involved and keeping them involved
  • They give us a chance to answer questions, give context, and provide vision for why this work is important
  • They’re an opportunity to build a personal relationship with a volunteer

2)     Goals of an one-on-one meeting (3 mins)

  • To learn about the person – motivations, skills, interests, what they want to learn, what experiences do they bring to the table, how much they want to be involved
  • Give the volunteer a clear sense of the group – a chance to meet a leader n the group, to see that they group is made up of fun, political, committed people
  • Give the person a role in the campaign – make sure what they’re doing is appropriate, challenge them to do more, learn new skills

3)     Principles of one-on-one meetings (2 mins)

  • Be prepared – thing through your agenda before the meeting
  • Listen! You should spend more time listening than talking
  • Have clear goals for the meeting
  • Get to know their motivations
  • Encourage them to take on more leadership
  • Always finish with a follow-up plan

4)     Tips (2 mins)

  • Look people in the eye
  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Practice “active listening”; do not take notes or seem distracted
  • When all else fails: why, why, why, why, and why?
  • Be creative about ways they can be involved
  • Give examples of the work you are doing and share real‐life experiences. This isn’t an interview; your first role is to listen, but also to validate their statements and concerns.
  • ALWAYS leave your meeting with a plan for next steps. Plan to have coffee again, or invite them to a meeting or event. If you promise to follow up, make sure you do so.

5)     Standard Individual Meeting Agenda (3 mins)

  • Chat: get to know the person, what motivates them
  • Context: once you have an idea for where this person should go next, provide some context for that campaign/activity and why it’s important
  • Pitch the idea: ask if the person would be willing to take that next step
  • Follow-up plan: make sure you’re both clear on what happens from here.

6)     Roleplays (30 mins)

  • Organizer should play the student.
  • Scenarios:
    • Student who has volunteered a couple times on the campaign, but hasn’t taken on any leadership yet (trainee should ask lots of questions, find out the person’s background, what they’re interested in, then pitch an appropriate leadership role)
    • Student came to several meetings but hasn’t actually volunteered for anything yet (trainee should ask lots of questions, find out the person’s background, what they’re interested in, then plug them in to a volunteer activity)
    • Student just coordinated a table for the first time, is totally psyched to do more (trainee should get to know this person, find out more about their background, and pitch an appropriate first leadership role)

7)     Wrap Up (5 mins)

For each person in the training, go through the volunteers they should be doing one-on-one meetings with, and have them tell you when they will be setting up those meetings.