Guide to One-on-One Meetings for Teachers

DEFINITION:  One-on-one meetings for teachers are intentional, face to face, talks with people to understand their interests, passions, and story and to share your own — to explore trust and the possibility of a public relationship with them.

PURPOSE:  To explore a public relationship with another person so that you can act together on issues of common concern.


  • “Selling” the institution or organization or an issue; asking for help with tasks or a project.
  • Chit-chat, informal exchange, taking persons as they present themselves.
  • Search for those who agree with your ideology.


  • You believe in the power of public relationships and are open to the possibilities of creating public relationships.
  • You value other people’s perspectives.
  • Listening to stories and insights, memories and visions, is more important than the tasks or projects that you would like the person to do.

SETTING:     One to one; face to face; at school, at home, at church/temple/mosque, at work, at a restaurant or café.

HOW LONG:   30-45 minutes

AROUND WHAT:   The other person’s self-interests and your own.

— What makes them tick?  Sharing stories that explain them as persons.

— A person’s priorities, what are they and why, what do they do about them.


1)      To learn the other person’s “story” and self-interest so that you can build a public relationship with them

2)      To find your own self-interest and to understand yourself better.

3)      To identify important concerns and interests in your institution or community.

4)      To identify new leaders in your institution or community.

5)      To build stronger schools, community organizations, workplaces, and neighborhoods.


  • interview the other person—each person is different, ask questions about them
  • don’t exchange resumes; DO exchange stories
  • make it one way—share your own experiences, develop trust through reciprocity.
  • be too polite—ask hard questions, challenge the other’s assumptions, use your natural curiosity and instincts to engage in a meaningful conversation.

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