Are you having trouble keeping a conversation going or simply starting one? Do you get uncomfortable when the room gets silent, and you feel compelled to say something but don’t know what to say? Let me introduce you to the “FORD technique,” a skill that you can use to start a conversation with new people or when you’re at a loss for words. People refer to this technique as a guide to mastering small talks. And it’s not about cars if that’s what you’re thinking.
The FORD method is a technique for establishing rapport with others by learning about them through questioning. FORD stands for family, occupation, recreation, and dreams, and these are utilized as discussion starters. This small conversation strategy can help you enhance your social skills and your capacity to forge relationships.
When conversing with others, use the FORD technique by asking questions regarding these themes. You can use this strategy to make others feel comfortable talking about themselves in a variety of situations, from blind dates to business dinners. The FORD method is applicable to a wide range of topics that significantly impact our lives. What is the significance of this? Well, because this is the era of networking, forming a bond with people is the way to establish yourself.
You can start the FORD technique by talking about family. When you find yourself in a conversation with people, always have a few family-related questions ready to ask. Simple questions like “How is your family?” or “How are your children?” are excellent conversation starters with folks you’ve met before. Or you can ask, “How did you meet your spouse?” or “How long have you been together?” if you are aware that the other person is married. And if the other person has children, feel free to ask, “What schools do they go to? “or “What sports do they participate in?”.
To begin a work-related conversation, inquire about a person’s current position. “What do you do for a living?” may be one question. “How is it going at work?” “That sounds fascinating. How did you end up doing that kind of work?” Try to learn something new with every new interaction. Other people will be more willing to open up and chat more if you show them that you are interested.
Recreation is any activity that people do to relax or have fun. “What do you like to do for fun?” is an example of a question you may ask. “How do you spend your weekends?” or “Do you take vacations frequently?” Share similar experiences to continue the conversation. It’s important to remember that this is a dialogue, not an interrogation. When you can chat about common interests like recreation according to FORD, a conversation becomes more enjoyable.
The FORD method concludes with inquiries regarding other people’s aspirations. With questions like “What have you always wanted to do?” don’t be afraid to go imaginative. “Where do you picture yourself in 10 years?” or “If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? “Don’t be offended if the other person doesn’t pick up on the subjects you propose right away. Be patient because it may take a few tries to find anything that piques that person’s interest in conversing. Make a point of listening and reflecting on what you hear.