1:1 Meetings

1:1 Meetings

Last updated: 4th October, 2023. We plan to update this page further in the coming months.

Compared to other activities in the EA community, new and current members of EA groups see immense value in two-person meetings between group organisers and participants. We call these in-person meetings one-on-ones. If you are interested in specifically career 1:1s please go here.

1. Guide to 1:1s with new/prospective members

a. Purpose

Information: Through 1:1s, we can ensure that people have good understanding of what EA ideas are about, therefore allowing them to come to an informed conclusion about whether EA is something they are interested in. This saves others' time by allowing them to get a good understanding of EA more quickly, and saves us time by informed us who we shouldn't be messaging to come to talks etc.

Social inclusion: Through 1:1s people can feel more comfortable within EA and have a go-to person they can contact with questions they have in the future. Helping people feel heard and giving them time and space to say what they want to about EA ideas is a great way to do this.

b. Template message

Hey [Student's Name], Hope you're doing well! I noticed you've shown some interest in Effective Altruism. That's awesome! At [Your EA Group's Name], we encourage organizers or experienced group members meet up with newer people who seem interested and engaged. It's a casual way to dive deeper into any thoughts or questions you might have about effective altruism, the community, or anything else you're curious about.How does grabbing a coffee or going for a walk sound to you? Let me know if you're up for it, and we can figure out a time that works for both of us.

Best, [Your Name]

c. Tips

Guidance on this page: introducing EA and communicating about it

An EA Forum post with more information and considerations can be found here.

d. Do's

  • Talk about non-EA content too! It’s important to build social connections with members of your group too, so don’t be afraid to talk about your hobbies and interests outside of EA
  • Do pay attention to what seems interesting or exciting to them. When they seem interested or engaged in a topic, ask them more. When they seem bored or checked out, change topic or ask them something else.
  • Send them content after your chat relating to topics they showed interest in.
  • If the chat goes well, express interest in or schedule a follow up chat/hangout sometime!, especially if you personally enjoyed the chat.
  • Check the EA Opportunities Board for any opportunities that may be relevant to your 1:1 partner.

e. Don't's

  • Advocate for EA in an idealistic way
  • Don’t be the voice of EA and explain the ‘EA view’, rather, explain what you think and your understanding of why some other people in EA think X.
  • Tell people what is right and wrong
  • Talk much more than 50% of the time.

f. Examples questions/prompts

  • Understanding EA Concepts
    • How did you first hear about Effective Altruism?
    • What do you find most appealing about EA?
    • Is there any EA concept that you find confusing or unclear?
  • Personal Interests and Alignment
    • How do you see your interests aligning with EA principles?
    • Are there specific projects or organizations you're interested in?
  • Career Goals
    • What are you studying, and do you see it aligning with doing the most good?
    • Have you thought about how you could have a high-impact career?
    • Are there any skills you're keen on developing to contribute more effectively?
  • Community Engagement
    • How active are you in the [University's EA Group] or other EA communities?
    • Are there any events or workshops you'd like to see from our group?
    • Do you have friends or acquaintances who might be interested in EA?
  • Feedback and Support
    • Is there anything you think our EA group could do better?
    • Do you have any questions or concerns you'd like to discuss?
    • What kind of support or resources could help you engage more deeply with EA?

2. Guide to 1:1s with engaged members

a. Purpose

Help people find current opportunities to learn and grow in a way that will aid them in their pursuit of a high-impact career. We think recurring 1:1’s are particularly useful for this.

Give newer members a person they can talk to & feel less intimidated by the group & ideas. Generally improve willingness & create better relationships within the group.

b. Template message

"Hi X, I hope you're well! We haven't chatted for a while and I wanted to reach out and ask if you’d like to X (coffee, walk etc). I'd love to speak about your current thinking with your development and career plans, any questions you have about Effective Altruism [Location], and how things are going for you generally!"

“Hey X, it’s been a little while. I’m curious what you’ve been up to and thinking about. Fancy a coffee or a walk sometime?”

c. Tips

Come prepared for the meeting. Hopefully, you have a rough idea of what the person is interested in. Perhaps, you'd like to give them some things to read/discussion points before your meeting or relevant opportunities they could apply to. You could also give an agenda and specific purpose for the session. See our career 1:1 meetings for tips on this.

d. Do's

  • Take notes on your conversation so if you have any relevant resources/ideas afterwards you can send to your group member.
  • Seek to connect rather than to tell - it is unlikely you will be the expert in the field you are discussing, but you are more likely to know experts in the fields than whoever you’re doing a 1:1 with.
  • Tool driven rather than answer driven - don’t look to give answers to hard questions, but instead offer ways to go about finding the answer
  • Provide accountability - offer to follow-up with someone if they say they want to do something by a particular date
  • Prepare prepare prepare!
  • Check the EA Opportunities Board for any opportunities that may be relevant to your 1:1 partner.

e. Don't's

  • Don't be too demanding, but do try to stress-test plans - it’s important not to put too much pressure on people early on in their engagement with effective altruism; however, it’s important to make sure that you are endorsing effective altruism principles! We acknowledge though that this line can be hard to tread.

3. Further resources

Please note, some of these resources focus specifically on career 1:1s (see here), but we think they can be useful context for any type of 1:1 if you have time to give them a read!

*1:1 meetings are also known as the following. We have noted these different terms below to help with search functionality!

one-on-ones / one-on-one’s

one-to-ones / one-to-one’s

one-ones / one-one’s

one:ones / one:one’s

1-1s / 1-1’s

121s / 121’s

If you were in the ‘Events: Workshops/Talks and Socials’ section, see below for your previous and next pages:

If you were in the ‘Logistics of Running a Group’ section, see below for your previous and next pages:

If you were in the ‘Outreach and Communication’ section, see below for your previous and next pages: