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Use the FORD Method for Better Conversations

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Ever noticed how some conversations with new people you meet just seem to flow out of nowhere, completely effortlessly? 

There you are, engaged in the best conversation you’ve had in weeks or months, with a person you didn’t even know about a few moments ago.

What makes it all the more frustrating is the rarity and randomness of it all. Sometimes you want to have a good conversation with someone you like, and not a stranger. 

Fortunately, there is a really easy technique to spark an engaging discussion with just about anyone: the FORD method. 

How does it work?

FORD is short for Family, Occupation, Recreation and Dreams. These topics cover the 4 major pillars of a person’s life that defines their identity and who they are as a people. 

To varying degrees, everyone likes to talk about themselves. Some people are open books, and will right away tell you of their deeper personal problems and intricacies. Others are more reserved, and reveal the inner workings of their lives to a select few people. 

What makes the FORD method so great is its versatility. It works both for open books and reserved individuals, with just a bit of tact.

Ideally, questions should be tied to context. For instance, in a professional, work related setting, starting out with a “so what do you do?” works great. In most cases, this is kind of a closed answer though, “I’m a accountant, and you?”.

Closed answers aren’t fun for anybody, so a great a follow-up question is “how did you get into that?”

This completely opens up the conversation in a non-intrusive way. People will feel free to say how little, or how much they want to answer, without being pressured. 

When asking open ended questions, you’re really looking out for “conversational anchors”. These are locations in the conversation that give you multiple information points, which provide you the possibility to ask multiple questions on different subjects. They also function as a useful “rewind button”, where you can go to a previous moment in the conversation if the current talking subject dried up.

As an example, let’s say you ask “cool, how did you get into accounting?”

The conversation partner replies: “Well, I had a choice between accounting or marketing, but I chose accounting because I always liked numbers.”

Let’s break down that reply and see just how many conversational paths that one phrase offers you:

  1. You could ask what in particular attracted them to marketing.
  2. Make a statement comparing marketing and then wait for their input.
  3. Ask if accounting was enough to scratch their “numbers itch”.
  4. Make a smartass comment / joke about them being the only ones who loved maths in school.
  5. Ask if they would make the same choice again, now that they have the benefit of hindsight.
  6. Say you were also tempted by marketing (though you shouldn’t lie if you weren’t)

This longer reply offers a bunch of conversational anchors you can pivot around. Some are FORD related, some aren’t. But either way, this allows you to learn a lot about a person.

Most people rarely get asked more meaty personal questions, so taking an interest in these is a change of pace for them, and shows that you genuinely find them interesting and know them better. 

FORD isn’t an interrogation technique

FORD is a simple and effective conversation method, but if you’re not careful you run the risk of making the other person feel interrogated. 

To prevent this, here are 4 simple guidelines to keeping your conversations light, breezy and fun:

1)   Keep your questions vague and open 

Don’t ask probing questions that seek concrete answers (unless appropriate to the conversation). Instead keep your questions open ended and ambiguous, especially for these two major benefits:

  1. The conversation partner can reveal as much or as little as he/she feels comfortable with, without feeling pressured.
  2. They have the space to tell a more complex and entertaining story, where they can go off on tangents. 

2)   Make statements of your own to keep the conversation balanced

The “Q&A” format has a “give and receive” dynamic, where the answerer seems to give almost all the information, but doesn’t get much in return from you.

To counteract this, and the interrogation effect, pitch in with statements and observations of your own. Give something back to the conversation partner, be it an idea, a tip or an emotion.

3)   Be genuine, enjoy the other person

Without a doubt, the hardest thing about using the FORD technique is to come across as truly interested in what the other person has to say and who they are. 

People feel genuine interest and are much more responsive to it. It’s easier to trust someone who is truthful in their intent. They’ll feel safe to open up, and can take the conversation into some surprisingly vulnerable places. 

4)   Sometimes, you need to get the hint

Some people of the people you will meet will inevitably give you short and curt answers even to your most innocent question. Not because they’re shy, but most likely because they simply don’t want to talk much at that point in time. Some might not even like you at all.

In that case, the only option you have is also the best one: disengage, and have fun with someone else. 

Being comfortable having a conversation with anybody at any time is an awesome skill to have in life. It helps take your social life up a notch, and makes you feel at ease in almost any circumstance.

Food and Drink

Spring Petals and Hairy Crab: Kintsugi Aligns with a Golden Touch

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Tucked away in a slate-colored corner of otherwise colorful SoHo, Kintsugi stands in contained eloquence as a testament to the exquisite fusion of traditional Japanese cuisine and modern culinary artistry. Named after the ancient Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold, Kintsugi embraces imperfections, celebrating the beauty of resilience and transformation in post-pandemic NYC.

At Kintsugi, guests are treated to an omakase experience unlike any other, where every dish tells a story of meticulous craftsmanship and innovative flavor pairings. The menu, curated by Executive Chef Victor Chen (formerly of New York Sushi Ko), offers three tiers of premium omakase, each highlighting seasonal ingredients and Chef Victor’s imaginative creations.

The dining experience began with the house signature cocktail, made with sake, yuzu, and violet syrup—a whimsical nod to the restaurant’s otherwise classic Japanese ambiance. The upbeat jazz music playing in the background added a lively contrast to Chef Victor’s quiet focus, creating a dynamic and engaging atmosphere.

The exciting spring menu babied us with glow-in-the-dark Firefly Squid as well as eels so delicate one would think they’re about to enjoy a bowl of glass noodles. A hairy crab peered at us over one course, sheltering a tangy salad made from its tender meat. Such creatures are common fare on the spring tides of the large Japanese coastline, chef informed us. An array of seasonal sea urchin species always brings a knowledgable crowd to Kintsugi, so book early for that summer treat.

While the atmosphere became increasingly lively as the evening unfolded and the guests got to know each other and the staff, the omakase culture at Kintsugi is one of careful curation and attention to detail. Guests can expect to pay a deposit and be patient, as Chef Victor and his team are focused and diligent in providing a truly exceptional dining experience. From bespoke sushi tailored to individual tastes to over 40 pieces of expertly crafted nigiri, every dish at Kintsugi is a work of art.

As you embark on your culinary journey at Kintsugi, be prepared to be transported to a world where every bite tells a story of tradition, innovation, and the beauty of impermanence. The latter of which is precisely what Chef Victor loves about sushi. “All of that work and it all goes into one bite” he says quietly as he gently sears a fat slice of sable fish. “Perhaps it is chewed a few more times, rolled around and savored for that moment and then its forever gone.”

In artful consideration of framing, each course is presented on dinner ware in collaboration with EM Ceramics and Spark Bird Studio who created an exclusive line of handcrafted, gold-fused dinner ware for Kintsugi. Experience for yourself the zen magic of this divine space and discover why, as host Klaus puts it, “everyone needs some Kintsugi after Covid.”

Kintsugi recently launched The Lunch Rush Omakase, a 12- course one- hour experience for $60. It is served on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from12–3 p.m. Also available is an optional seasonal beverage pairing (3) for $35 per person.

Kintsugi Omakase

28 Grand Street New York, NY www.kintsuginyc.com 646-983-4616
@kintsuginyc

Hours of operation:
Lunch: Friday, Saturday and Sunday 12–3 p.m. Dinner: Monday-Sunday 5–11 p.m.
Closed on Wednesdays

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Food and Drink

Dream Tea NYC Dazzles with Delicious Sips

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Calling all tea lovers!

Anney Norton has created a fabulous brand that is both delicious and a user-friendly way to create their  blend. Welcome to the wonderful world of Dream Tea NYC.

She has elegantly found a way to craft your own blend of tea from the highest quality organic ingredients. Each canister delivered to your door is full of flavor that is uniquely curated to your heart’s desire. From chamomile with whisps of apples, honey to responsibly sourced rose and lavender, there are hundreds of premium ingredients from dozens of quality sources to take the dreamer on an epic journey to discover amazing tea.

Custom tea blends are sent to your door. What is delivered to your doorstep is magical. Simply take their blend quiz by share a little bit about yourself and your flavor preferences. They then create the perfect custom blend for you.

It’s not just the special blend that will rock your world. The cutest and perfectly paired accessories help further produce a sophisticated culinary experience.

The Dreamy Tea Scoop is the perfect addition to your tea set. Using natural, non-toxic, food-grade steel, this brushed gold scoop is a safe and effective way to get the perfect amount of tea for every personal serving. In addition, Starry Sachet Bags are the only tea sachets using natural, non-toxic cotton fibers to help make a safe and effective way to brew the perfect cup.

Here is to creating your perfect sip today. For more information, please visit here.

 

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Events

FAO Schwarz Launches Teddy Bear for enCourage Kids Fundraising

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This is the cuddly gift that keeps giving.

FAO’s flagship store in the heart of New York City has launched the sale of a new look on Teddy with an enCourage Kids’ partnership. The high-quality plush toy is for the Send a Smile, Send a Bear program. Right now, Teddy is on sale at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

Teddy will soon be able to help even more pediatric patients navigate the stress of treatment, illness, and hospitalization. The program also delivers stuffed animal bears to hospital partners nationwide to help pediatric patients navigate the stress of treatment, illness, and hospitalization.

FAO’s motto is to be a source of wonder for each new generation, along with being a relentless supporter of quality and innovation in the life of every child. enCourage Kids envision a world where every child experience joy, hope and emotional healing along their medical journey. Together, we look forward to providing each child with this Bear, the ultimate symbol of hope, strength and courage.

Since 1985, enCourage Kids Foundation has helped humanize healthcare for children and their families by resourcing impact-driven pediatric programs and supporting the child life community. Serving more than one million children annually, enCourage Kids is focused on making hospitals a better place to get better.

 

Photos by Mychal Watts

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B|STRO 38 A Hidden Gem Of Culinary Delights

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Family

Corruption In The Queens Divorce Courts Part 3

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This is the 3rd part in a series of what I have witnessed while in court with my friend in her divorce case. Here is part 1 and part 2. Part of the reason I am writing this, is I do not believe this is an isolated case and there are those who are afraid to speak out for themselves. The violation of ones rights should be something we all fight for. In my friends case many of her rights were violated and sadly a lot of them by the attorney’s she’s had.

Before I start I went to tell you what happened last night. In re-reading and checking the first article I put up, I realized several links were taken down and I replaced with ones that weren’t. Miraculously they were back up today, so I am adding them here, here and here. Hopefully these links will not be taken down again.

Here is how this all started:

When my friend told me about her divorce case I was stunned. When I came to her house for the first time there was paper work in piles all over her house. She asked for my help and I agreed. In looking at this paper work, I saw so much. I immediately noticed what looked like insurance fraud. There were numerous checks from insurance companies. My friend had not noticed the amount or how many checks or claims were made in a short amount of time. Over a million. It was staggering. In a way it was like a gigantic puzzle.

The next day I went to court with her, because it was just going to be her and her attorney. As I have stated before, no-one should have to go through this alone. Her attorney was Alyssa Eisner, who was one of the rudest human beings I have ever met. She talked down to my friend, was condescending and kept telling her to shut up. The very first thing and last thing she said was “I need more money.” I tried to tell Ms. Eisner what I had discovered and asked did she want me as a witness and she said “No I knew nothing about the law.” I proceeded to tell her “I was a journalist and had read about the law.”

When I got into the courtroom Judge Viscovich asked the other side if I was to be a witness and they stated no. This happened the second time I was in court as well. In both occasions my friend was threatened with being thrown into Rikers and her attorney sat there stone cold silent.

Ms. Eisner told the Judge she was not prepared to go to trial.

In court Ms. Eisner, seemed more on her husbands side than my friend’s. Her attitude and her tactics seemed unrehearsed and rather shabby. Her performance made me want to know more, so I did research.

On lawyer ratings she rates poorly 1.7 out of 5

You can read here what other’s went through and it mirror’s what my friend went through.

A couple of days later I drove with my friend to Ms Eisner’s office, where my friend gave her the money she required.

The next time I was there, Ms Eisner again was impolite, discourteous and uncivil. Again the very first thing and last thing she said was “I need more money,” even though she had been paid a couple of days before. Though this day was to separate assets, my friend was sent home with Ms. Eisner not even objecting. The reason why was the Judge wanted the marital home appraised. The joke of this was this could easily have been done the next day, when they didn’t have court, but the Judge specifically ask for this date.

While at the appraisal, my friend slipped and fell and was not feeling well. During this time Ms. Eisner was texting both my friend and her daughter with her daughter answering what my friend should have been answering but couldn’t, because Ms. Eisner kept insisting that my friends daughter make discussion on her mother’s behalf. Her daughter did not have the power of attorney to do this, so why was Ms. Eisner texting her? When the decision’s had been made and was texted to her daughter her daughter told her “This was one of the worst deals ever made.”

The reason my friend had not been answering the texts was she was ill due to what later was diagnosed as a brain concussion. The fact is my friend could have died.

The next day in court, my friend told the Judge she was not well. He didn’t care. Ms Eisner actually for the first time since I had arrived stood up for her, because it was clear my friend was unwell.

The court went on that day for over two hours and the reason for this was Ms. Eisner now wanted off the case. This happened as my friend was not able to make discussions.

Because of the brain concussion, she was hospitalized, had to see a specialist and still has short memory problems.

Ms. Eisner was my friends lawyer for less than 3 months and made over $75,000. My question is for what?

By the way in the case where Dr. Robby Mahadeo was to be jailed for six months in Rikers Island, the reason for that was, that he objected to paying $88,000 in legal fees to Alyssa Eisner, his wife’s lawyer. The couple had a prenuptial agreement that clearly precluded such payments and yet Judge Viscovich took it upon himself to cancel it. This made it to NBC News.

Again, if you are in need of help, have more information, or can help please email us at queenscourtcorruption@gmail.com.

Inspector General’s Office emoy@nycourts.gov

New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, 61 Broadway, Suite 1200, New York, New York 10006

Marguerite A. Grays: Administrative Judge-Civil Term, Eleventh Judicial District: Presiding Justice – Commercial Division, Queens County: Queens County Supreme Court: 88-11 Sutphin Boulevard: Jamaica, NY 11435 (718) 298-1212

Grievance Committee for the Second, Eleventh, and Thirteenth Judicial Districts: Renaissance Plaza
335 Adams Street, Suite 2400: Brooklyn, NY 11201-3745: (718) 923-6300

The Queens Courier Contact@schnepsmedia.com: PO Box 610257, Bayside NY, 11361 Phone: 718–260–2500 718-224-5863

TimesLedger Elizabeth Aloni 45-17 Marathon Parkway Little Neck, NY 11362 718-260-4537 timesledgernews@schnepsmedia.com

Queens Chronicles Mark Weidler  718-205-8000 x114

qptv.org 4161 Kissena Blvd Ste 2077 Flushing, NY 11355 (718) 886-8160

nbcnewyork.com 30 Rockefeller Plz Fl 7 New York City, NY 10012 (212) 664-4444

 

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