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Organizer Reflection: 1-to-1’s to the Rescue!

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For many years I thought that self-reflection and prayer were enough to get me through times where I felt overwhelmed, uncertain, or needed help – where growth was necessary.  Learning 1-to-1s in JONAH has taught me so much about the importance of true relationships with others. It has shown me how my relationships can really support, clarify and burgeon my growth process. 

If you’re at all acquainted with JONAH you have heard the term 1-to-1.  But what is a 1-to-1, and why is it so important to us?

A 1-to-1 is where you sit down with someone and agree to get to know each other.  With brave curiosity and no agenda, you listen to this person – allowing your natural curiosity to ask questions which go deeper into their story, forgetting your own story for their moment. This curiosity allows you to reflect back to them what they said, which churns on validation, self-reflection and growth.  In turn being the listener also helps your own self-clarity and listening enables a mindful break from your own brain’s train of thought. Then, ideally, you switch roles.

I have found this curiosity generates a sincere since of care for the other person, keeps me in the present moment, and reveals connections I never could have imagined. If in a 1-to-1 I listen to someone out of sincere care for their growth, then they are at their best – which betters our community. And if I agree to be honest because I know it makes me better, then that also betters our community. 

But this kind of relationship takes vulnerability.  It is not a common way of relating to “strangers” and that can be terrifying. But here are some reminders of why it is important to go to this place of vulnerability:

  1. I have found 1-to-1s to be great for, yes, personal growth, but also essential for recruiting people to lighten the load in our work (when self-interests align), clarity when unclear in a decision, empowering others to make our community better – thrust them right out of stagnation, and for demolishing stigmas through connection.
  2. The beauty of the community of JONAH is that we all agree to this code of radical acceptance.  There is great peace in that knowledge.
  3. When you do a 1-to-1 with someone outside of JONAH it builds your confidence as you realize you came out unscathed and propels our belief in this concept – that relationship is truly what can build bridges of hope.

Spring brings new growth and hustle-and-bustle, which for many of us, me included, is exciting but can be accompanied by overwhelm.  JONAH is in this place right now also – we have propelled into spring but haven’t really caught up with ourselves.  We have responded to this with some organizational reflection.

1-to-1s are an essential way to deal with overwhelm, burgeoning energy, self-doubt, and those connections you need!

Sitting down over a cup of coffee to connect with each other, share ideas, reconnect with one’s self-interest, and seeking input is what makes JONAH different from other organizing groups.  When we’re busy is especially when we need to take a step back and evaluate what we’re doing and connect with others who can support that. There may be someone this spring who has burgeoning energy and nowhere to put it, or someone who is working on the same thing and collaborating may make that load lighter.  Planning an event?  Schedule some 1-to-1s to get folks excited about it – we place value on relationships in JONAH because we believe that the personal touch and listening to each other is what connects and motivates us toward action.

Joining Our Neighbors Advancing Hope is all about supporting each other and encouraging growth towards positive outcomes for everyone in our community.  That can’t happen if we aren’t connecting with each other and reflecting on each of our roles. So go out there and be brave!  Follow the breadcrumbs in conversation and let’s be better together!

Anytime you want to support JONAH but aren’t sure how, are overwhelmed with what you are doing, or are looking for inspiration seek out the support of another JONAH member – or me!  “Hey, can we get some coffee and catch up?” is just as important to what we’re doing in JONAH as the actions, meetings, trainings we’re doing. 

In summary: whether you are new to JONAH, support JONAH but aren’t sure what to do, or if you are active in JONAH and feeling stretched thin, the answer lies in 1-1s. 

Need some training on how to do a 1-to-1? Or does your group need 1-to-1 training? We are in the process of setting up 1-1 trainings over the summer – contact me: