Do you find it difficult to converse in social settings with people? The "F.O.R.D." is a useful acronym to remember that is a technique to give you "speaking ammo" the next time you find yourself in an awkward social setting.
Its intent is to provide a framework to follow that should handle enough topics to create a meaningful conversation with someone. It stands for: Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Dreams.
Family comes first! But it can be a tricky topic especially in this day and age.. But if the participant has a good relationship and is willing to expand on this topic, you can find out a ton of information starting with their children, siblings, and parents, while going all the way to great grandparents. Asking about someone's family will give you insight into their values and history.
Next, ask about their occupation. Instead of the usual "What do you do for a living?" try asking "What do you find most fulfilling about your job?", "What motivated you to choose this profession?", or "What are your co-workers like?". This can help you understand their passions and motivation.
All work and no play... Asking about hobbies, interests, and activities they enjoy will help you understand how they spend their free time and what kind of person they are (outgoing, nerdy, musical, etc.).
Lastly, ask about their dreams. This might include aspirations, goals, places they'd like to travel, and what they want to achieve in life. A person's dreams will allow you to see what they find important and motivating in life.
The FORD system is easy to remember and can help you get "unstuck" when you're in a brand new social setting or even familiar ones (like purchasing groceries, talking to your co-workers, etc.) and give you a better understanding of the person you're talking to. It can help you build stronger connections and move beyond the awkward "small-talk" that everyone hates!