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Yannick_Muehlhaeuser comments on Heuristics from Running Harvard and Oxford EA Groups - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Yannick_Muehlhaeuser 02 May 2018 12:29:43PM 1 point [-]

Very helpful post. As someone running an german EA group i didn't really find anything that doesn't apply to us in the same way it did for you.

One interesting thing is your focus on 1on1 conversations: We have never attempted something like this, mostly because we thought it would be at least a bit weird for both parties involved. Did you have the same fear and where proven wrong or is this a problem you run into with some people?

Comment author: Ronja_Lutz 04 May 2018 01:00:35PM 2 points [-]

We have never attempted something like this, mostly because we thought it would be at least a bit weird for both parties involved.

If that's helpful: EA Berlin has been using 1:1s for a while now, so there doesn't seem to be a cultural context that would make a difference. That said, I usually distinguish between 1:1s with people interested joining the group, and with existing group members. We've done the former and are only starting to do the latter (partly because it seemed like a really good idea after talking to James). Introducing that wasn't weird at all, when messaging people saying "we're trying this new thing that might be good for a bunch of different reasons", they seemed quite happy about it, perhaps only a bit confused about what was supposed to happen during the 1:1.

I'd also emphasise the active element of reaching out to people that seem particularly interested instead of just having 1:1s with anyone who approaches you. I like Tobias's suggestion to approach people based on answers they write in a feedback form, but I'm not sure how much effort it'd take to implement that.

Comment author: james_aung 03 May 2018 04:46:29PM *  1 point [-]

Hi!

I think there are easy ways to make it not weird. Some tips:

1) Emailing from an official email account, rather than a personal one, if you've never met the person before.

2) Mention explicitly that this is 'something you do' and that, for newcomers, you'd like to welcome them into the community. This makes it less strange that you're reaching out to them personally.

3) Mention explicitly that you'll be talking about EA, and not other stuff.

4) It's useful to meet people in real life at an event first and say hello and introduce yourself there.

5) Don't feel like you have an agenda or anything; keep it informal. Treat it as if you were getting to know a friend better and have an enjoyable time.

6) Absolutely don't pressure people, just reach out and offer to meet up if they'd find it useful