MOBILIZE YOUR FRIENDS – A 6-STEP GUIDE
Want to take it a step further? Challenge yourself to have 1:1 conversations with the people in your life who don't seem motivated to take action. Here’s a guide based on proven behavior change tactics and principles of interpersonal conflict resolution.
1. DEMONSTRATE RESPECT
- WHAT IT MEANS: Make it clear that you respect your friend and care about your relationship
- WHAT YOU SAY: "I want to talk to you about this because not only do I admire you, but I know a lot of other people do, too."
2. ASSUME GOOD INTENTIONS
- WHAT IT MEANS: Listen before you talk. Don’t listen to respond, listen to understand.
- WHAT YOU SAY: “I noticed you haven’t spoken out about what’s happening at the border. I want to understand what might be stopping you.”
3. MAKE A CONCESSION
- WHAT IT MEANS: People don’t get as defensive if you are willing to admit your own fault first.
- WHAT YOU SAY: "I’m certainly not perfect when it comes to this stuff. I didn’t say anything when [recent event] happened. But I think this is different, because [reason]”
4. GIVE THEM AN OUT
- WHAT IT MEANS: Resist the urge to be accusatory (“You’re being a coward!”) Instead, let them believe their prior position was OK, but now things have changed, and so their mind should change as well.
- WHAT YOU SAY: “It’s understandable that you wouldn’t have wanted to get involved in politics before. Nobody knew exactly how cruelly they were treating children. But now that we know, we have a responsibility to do something.”
5. PROPOSE A NEXT STEP
- WHAT IT MEANS: If you can get them to commit to one specific action, they are more likely to follow through than if you vaguely ask them to “help.”
- WHAT YOU SAY: “Can you commit to taking action with me, either by donating, calling your representatives, or coming to a protest with me? Will you tell me when you’ve done it, so I’ll know?”
6. GIVE THEM HOPE
- WHAT IT MEANS: When people feel overwhelmed, scared, or distraught, they tend to freeze up. Give the person reason to believe they can make a difference and that the future can be better.
- WHAT YOU SAY: “Already, public pressure is starting to change things, because people like you are saying enough is enough. Thank you for talking with me and committing to help these families."