Five Steps of One-on-One Communication

When the Goal is Moving a Worker into Action

  1. 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].”
  2. 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.
  3. 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.”
  4. 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?”
  5. 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?”