F.O.R.M stands for Family, Occupation, Recreation and Media. The idea is that these 4 topics can open up a conversation easily and help you to discover more about the person with whom you are talking. That way you can delve into topics of conversation that involve shared interest topics. Generally speaking, people like to talk about their life. They feel more important when you are asking questions about them — and it helps to keep the conversation flow. This, in turn, makes them feel more at ease and relaxed.
Let’s break down the F.O.R.M. acronym, shall we?
- F-amily: Do you have kids? Where is your family from? How long have you lived around here? Then you can elaborate and tell them about yours.
- O-ccupation: What do you do for a living? What is that like? Have you always been a scuba diving parachutist? You can compare notes about the similarities and differences in your jobs.
- R-ecreation: What do you do for fun? How long have you been involved in birdwatching? Ask them what they do outside of work for fun. Sports, hobbies, favourite website, TV shows, movies…find out what you have in common.
- M-edia: you can talk about what’s happening in the media world.
The beauty of F.O.R.M. is that it can be adapted to your needs because you can change what it stands for. You can use these tools to feel fresh and aid in communication with your surrogate as you move forward through slower parts of your journey together.
In fact, you could change any of the 4 topic areas. O could be for Olympics (especially if an Olympic Games will be happening soon), or R could be reading, where you could talk about what you’ve read recently.
You should be able to have a great initial conversation around these 4 questions — and, of course, these same questions can be revisited again to form the basis of future conversations.