Five Steps of One-on-One Communication
When the Goal is Moving a Worker into Action
- Introduce yourself and explain why you are talking with workers today. If you don't know the person: "Hello, I'm Terry, I'm a Floor Rep on the 2nd Floor." "We've been talking with nurses on your unit about [whatever the identified issue is]."
- Listen to the nurse's concerns, and agitate around the issue. Ask basic questions like, "How long have you worked here?"; "What shift do you normally work?"
Get specific: "Has [the identified issue] affected you? How?" Agitate around the issue – meaning challenge the person to think about the unfairness of the problem, and to act: "Do you think this is fair? Don't you think we should do something about this?" Don't interrupt. Don't jump to conclusions. Keep asking questions.
- Educate about the union and what can be done to build power. "If we act as a group, the supervisor will be more likely to listen." "We're reaching out to you and your co-workers so that we can have a greater say in what goes on and make some real changes." "By sticking together, we can take an active role in improving our jobs."
- Ask the worker to participate with their co-workers – In a very specific manner. "Will you [wear a button, sign a petition, come to a meeting, etc]?" "Who else is affected by this problem? Will you introduce me to them?"
- Get a specific commitment and reassure them that you will stay in contact with them. The day before the action: "Remember to [wear your button, come to the meeting tomorrow, etc]." "Thank you for standing together with us." "How can I keep in touch with you?"