Organizing Tools & Resources

Training: 1-1 (PICO National Network)



Leaders have decided to build an organization and now need to understand how to better connect with people in their community. This training exposes them to the elements of a 1-1 visit.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the importance of self-interest.
  2. Learn the four steps to a 1-1 visit.
  3. Practice a 1-1 visit.

Key Principle(s)

  • People act out of their self-interest.
  • Never do for others what they can do for themselves.
  • Take people from where they are, not from where we want them to be.
  • Leaders have followers.

Content of 1-1 Training

We build our local organization through a 1-1/listening campaign.  The goal 1-1 is to initiate and/or deepen our relationships with families in our congregation/community so that we can act collectively to change conditions in our community.


  • Definition:  Inter  (among)  Ese (to be)
  • Self-Interest = that which is important to me.  If we go back to the Latin, we see that at its root self-interest is based on the notion that we only act on what is      important to me in relationship with (among) others.

When we do 1-1s, we want to understand what is important to the person - since it is those things that will motivate the person to act (in the organization).

  1. Parts of the 1-1:
  • Definition:  30 minute face to face meeting.
  • Setting up the visit: 

Credential the organization (see below),

Ask for 30 minutes when you can sit down and share the LOCs work as well as listen to concerns/dreams for the congregation/community

  • Credential: 

Give your name, congregation name;

Who referred you (ideally, give pastor's name or key leader/staff);

Share what/why the LOC is doing -- reaching out and listening to the families of our congregation/community to understand the needs and concerns - with the notion that once we understand the needs of our families, we will try to join together to do something about them.

Reiterate that we are exploring with families - don't know what action we will take - that will emerge from our 1-1 visits with families. What we are clear about is that we need to all walk together if we are going to make meaningful changes in our community.

  • Focus: 

Listen to the person's concerns/dreams for the community. Ideally, you will have a deeper understanding of the person's self-interest (what is important to them) by the time you leave.

Probing questions:

- How long have you lived in this community?  How has it changed?

- What are some of your concerns about the community?  Are their things you would like to see changed?  WHY?  WHY? WHY?

- Have you ever tried to address any of the problems in the community?  (If yes) What was your experience?

- Do you know other people who share your concerns? 

- How long have you been a member of the congregation?  Do you participate in any ministries?

  • Invitation:

Principle: You only know how real a ‘yes' is if you give a person the opportunity to say ‘no'. You are not responsible for getting someone to say yes - you are responsible for offering an opportunity to take one step.

Levels of invitation:

  1. If the person has energy (passion), invite them to the LOC. 
  2. If the person is either not very interested/shows little energy/cautious:ask if we could count on their support down the road if we take action on one of these concerns.

Other suggestions for next steps: If the person knows people who share concerns, they can visit them - and LOC member could go with them.

Outline of Model Training: 1-1 Visit

  • Begin with the self-interest piece. 

§  Have folks think of someone they know well --  draw a stick figure and put down what is important to that person. 

§  Report back, collectively) on what was important to the person they thought of.

§  In organizing, we talk about this as self-interest - that which is important to me.  How many of you are comfortable?  Not comfortable with this word?  Why?  (On a continuum - can be selfish; can be absolute altruism)

§  Give latin derivative.  Our guiding principle:  People act out of self-interest. 

§  Why is it important that we understand self-interest?  We need to understand what's important to the families of our church/community if we expect them to join us in addressing the concerns/needs.

  • Part of the 1-1:

§  Definition

§  Setting up the visit

§  1-1 visit: Credential, Focus, Invitation

  • Role play a 1-1 visit
  • Evaluation:

§  Was the credential clear?

§  What do you understand about that person's self-interest based on the questions that were asked? How did we learn that - what were the effective questions that uncovered that?

§  Were there other questions you would have asked?  Such as?

§  Was the invitation clear?  Was it the appropriate invitation? (ex.  If you invited the person to the LOC, why?  What did you see/hear during the course of the visit that suggested that this person should be on the LOC?)