Four Tips To Get The Conversation Started Using The FORD Method

by | Mar 31, 2020 | All Things Good, Business and Entrepreneurship, Life, Love | 5 comments

Four Tips To Get The Conversation Started Using The FORD Method

Would you like to make a connection through conversation and don’t have a clue where to start?  Well, you are in the right place with these four tips to get the conversation started using the FORD method.

Dialogue doesn’t have to be hocus pocus, and you certainly don’t have to be the smartest person in the room to engage in some meaningful dialogue.  You can facilitate practical fun, meaningful conversation by asking a few simple questions to those around you.

Oh my pounding heart and sweaty palms

How do you feel about talking to people?  Is it easy for you to strike up a conversation?  Would you like to develop your skills and be
more fluid in your communication?  Do you
cringe at the thought of “making conversation.” 
Maybe you are at a loss for words when you first meet someone.  Possibly, you just want to make a connection
and don’t know where to start.

Do you ever feel your heart pounding, your palms sweating,
and you just wish someone would talk to you. 
Perhaps you find yourself trying to think of things other than the
weather or COVID-19 to discuss. How about that deafening awkward silence, does
it bother you?

Well, guess what?   You are like many of us out here.  That’s right; you are not alone.  Connection is one of our greatest needs as humans.  We want it, we need it, and now, we are going to help you get it!

Open-Ended? What’s that?

Let’s start with the basics or, as I like to say, ask a
better question.  The proper term is open-ended
questions or leading questions.  Simply put,
these are questions that allow an opportunity for additional dialogue rather
than a yes or a no answer.  These
questions can be tricky, and you may need to practice.  Though, once you start using them, your
dialogue will open up tremendously.

Do you ever get stuck for open-ended questions?.    Well,
if you do, then read on because we have some fun leading questions for many

Now, I love to talk to people or interrogate, as my partner Robb would say.  Developing effective question asking can be tricky.  So, I was pretty excited when I ran across this little nugget of information. 

I love acronyms

My research led me to this fantastic acronym F.O.R.D.   Simply stated, The F. O.R. D. method stands
for Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Dreams. 
These hints and reminders help us to find more interesting and not so
obvious information through open-ended questions. 

I put together some of my go-to questions that may be helpful the next time you find yourself stuck.  If nothing else, remember the acronym, and you will find a lead into a conversation.  Be encouraged to use these as a jumping-off point and allow the dialogue to develop naturally.  There is no reason for rapid-fire unless, of course, it is an interrogation.  Allow the conversation to be natural and flowing.

These are Four Tips to get the conversation started using the FORD method


It is not always apparent as to whether or not someone wants to talk about their family.  Asking them a direct question such as “ Tell me about your family” can sometimes trigger some unhappy emotions.  Personally speaking, I like to wait until I am clear on a persons’ familial relationships before I close in on what could be sensitive territory. 

Try these instead and be discerning.  Knowing what to ask and when to ask can be a little tricky.  Navigate your conversation slowly until you find your flow.

  • Where’s home for you?
  • What are some of your family traditions?
  • What was it like growing up in your neighborhood?


Occupation is a subject that needs a little more attention and follow-up.  Sometimes the question may seem to be open, when in fact, the person on the other end clams-up 
on us.  Be prepared to follow up with another similar question:

  • What kind of work do you do?
  • How did you come into that line of work or
  • Tell me about your typical day in the “office.”

R- Recreation

Everyone likes to talk about their “fun” life, hobbies, weekend ventures, and the places they’ve traveled.  So ask them! Personally speaking, this is one of the most comfortable places to start.  You will even find children respond to these questions.

  • Tell me what you did over the weekend.
  • When things get chaotic, how do you clear your
  • What are you reading these days?
  • What are some of your favorite restaurants?
  • Where was your last getaway?


Some people think this question is prying.  For me, it is just another way to communicate.  Indulge your friends and let them tell you about their dreams and aspirations. 

  • When did you know you wanted to be…..?
  • What is your silliest fear?
  • What did you want to be when you were a kid, and
    how did that turn out?

Hopefully, you will find value with these questions and using the F.O.R.D method. Perhaps you want more on this subject?  Here’s a quick and easy download of 30 easy
open-ended questions you can use with just about anyone. 

Productive, engaging conversation is a skill, and you may need to practice. 

Be Mindful, Inspire Conversation, and Continue to Encourage
each other.

Travel Safe and Adventure Often,



  1. Robb Strobridge

    Sometimes when I am in a new group or meeting new people I find it difficult to get started and sometimes keep the conversation going.

    Keeping the FORD in mind will definitely help, although I really am a chevy man.

    • Maureen Wright

      Hahaha! Maybe we can find something out there that would correspond to Chevy for you! Thanks for reading…

  2. Treva

    I love this because anyone, even shy people can use this tips to help make conversation happen. I will direct a few people here to learn this handy tips! Thanks for posting.

    • Maureen Wright

      Thank you so much! I sometimes find myself falling into the Yes/No conversation still, especially with children. We are always evolving. Thanks for reading!

  3. Ronnie Suit

    I don’t have any trouble sleeping and i can share this with my wife.


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