After a long year of giving hours towards issue organizing, it is likely that you and your volunteers have hit a wall. You’ve made it through some important dates throughout the year. You’ve even survived your weird Uncle on Thanksgiving who has some very interesting ideas when it comes to the future of this country.
While you take this time to enjoy the holidays and get some well-needed rest and relaxation, please remember not to neglect the power of relationships when it comes to issue based organizing. This is particularly important as State Legislative Sessions are preparing to start at the beginning of new year.
Authentic relationships serve as the foundation of an effective community. Investing in your volunteers and team members allows you an excellent perspective on their strengths and weaknesses, their self-interests, their passions, what they love to do and what they try to avoid.
Additionally, your volunteers can open the door to new networking and coalition building opportunities. Your volunteers can provide valuable insight to political activity in their area. Getting to know and caring about your team will give them a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
As renowned sales trainer Jeffrey Gitomer says, “All things being equal, people want to do business with their friends. All things being not so equal, people still want to do business with their friends.”
So, while you’re running errands or completing last minute Christmas shopping, be sure to schedule some one on one time with your volunteers. It’s important to continually build and develop relationships in your community. This is done by demonstrating that you actually care and the work you are doing together is important. When it comes to local and state policy battles, having a peppermint mocha with the right person can make all the difference.