What makes a 1-1 an Introductory 1-1?
The mentee is relatively new to Effective Altruism, or new to thinking about these ideas with other people (a lot of people have done a fair bit of reading but not as much discussion).
Remember that you might be their very first introduction to Effective Altruism: assume that you are the first person they've ever talked to about these ideas.
Here are some tips for these kinds of 1-1s in particular:
1. Be especially friendly
You set the bar for the whole EA community, not even just the one at your university/college. EA might become a lifelong passion for each person you meet 1-1 (especially if you're doing a good job). You'll be their first impression of the EA community.
Really try to get to know them; ask them genuine questions about their life, their interests inside and outside their course, and EA. Find your common interests in any of these and try to make a real connection with the person you're talking to.
2. Be charitable to seemingly 'basic' arguments & common criticisms of EA
You might have heard these points a thousand times and you will hear them again.
The major difference between you and your mentee is the number of hours you've already spent engaging with these ideas.
You don't want your mentee to leave feeling like EAs respond to objections by scoffing at them or responding cruelly, and things will be much more likely to go well if you leverage this great opportunity to set an accurate picture of the EA community and its ideas.
3. Prepare solid explanations of the basics
While many people will have heard of Effective Altruism or related ideas before, you're one of their first points of direct engagement.
This gives you a rare opportunity to make sure their impression of EA and related concepts are as clear and well-presented as possible. So, you should make sure you can present things clearly when you're asked.
Enjoy having this opportunity to share these fascinating and potentially life-changing ideas in a high-fidelity way!
4. Help them navigate the community to introduce them to the things they can do now
To foster the kind of agency and excitement required to have a really big positive impact, you'll likely find that your mentees will benefit from knowing what options they have at the stage they're at.
If this is one of their first times they've engaged with the EA community, you can make it quicker and easier to find out:
- What your group does (its structure, events schedule, etc.)
- How it fits within the broader EA community
- What events are being run in the near future that they might be especially excited to get involved with
- What EA content exists out there that they might enjoy/benefit from
- Refer to the Global Challenges Library to help you do this
- Who else working on your student group they could have useful conversations with
- Anything else they find initially confusing about the community