Guidelines for having vaccine conversations: the TEO Method. (Made to Save)


T – Build Trust
E – Express Empathy
O – Help them find their OWN reason for getting vaccinated


Build Trust

● Listen to understand, not to respond. Don’t form your reply before the person is done speaking.

● Repeat back or state a summary. “Thank you for sharing that with me. What I am hearing you say is [INSERT SUMMARY STATEMENT]….”

● Pair shared values with key facts. “I also really care about not taking chances with my personal health. I know it seems like the vaccines came out all of the sudden. Health experts have been working on the technology for these kinds of vaccines for years, and there was a massive effort and a lot of money put into developing them. I know so many people who have gotten
the vaccine and are fine, and now millions of people are getting vaccinated every day. And, multiple groups are monitoring safety in the millions of people who have gotten the vaccine.

● Share your vaccine story. Share if you had any hesitations or questions about the vaccine, and share why you ultimately decided to get vaccinated.

Express Empathy

● Express empathy and connect on values. Acknowledge and relate to what the person is sharing. Validating concerns, expressing empathy, and demonstrating that you understand will help make the person feel more comfortable. “That must be frustrating and scary to worry about missing a day of work and making rent.”

● Ask questions to get to the root of the concern. “What is it about doctors that makes you nervous? When you say you are worried about the safety of the vaccines, what do you mean?” or “So you’re nervous about side effects? [Pause to listen and prompt the person if needed:] Tell me more.”

● Respond without judgement and avoid making assumptions. “I see where you’re coming from. It can be hard to know what information on social media is real when there is so much misinformation and clickbait. Have you checked
out the CDC website for information?”

Help them find their OWN reason for getting vaccinated

● Listen for: what, if anything is holding them back? If they just need help with access, offer to help! Give them information, make an appointment for them, find them a ride – whatever you can do to help! If they have concerns about the vaccine itself, respond authentically and plan to follow up.

● Help the person find their own reason to get vaccinated: Everyone who chooses to get vaccinated does it for a reason—to protect their family, to protect their children, to be less anxious, to visit their parents, or to get back to activities like seeing friends, resuming work, or returning to school. The reasons that someone may choose to get vaccinated will always be those that are most compelling to them personally. “I am getting vaccinated so that I can visit my grandparents again, why is getting vaccinated important to you?”

● Don’t tell them what to do or think. It is important to guide a person to make their own decision rather than the lecture or dictate what someone should do or think.

Source: Made to Save