How To Build Trust With Your Team Using the FORD Method

As leaders, it is important to have a solid foundation of trust within the team. A powerful way to achieve this is by using the FORD method.

The FORD method is a simple yet effective technique that you can use to have a good conversation. FORD stands for family, occupation, recreation, and dreams. Using this, you can improve employee engagement and overall team and business performance.

Here are takeaways and highly-recommended books on the FORD method.


Celebrity Cruises, a client of The DiJulius Group, shares their service vision statement “The World At Your Service.”

Given that philosophy, it is no surprise that they have been selected as “Best Premium Cruise Line.” Celebrity understands that the employees must experience world-class service on the inside first, long before it can ever be experienced on the outside.

Jonathan Meyer, manager of customer experience, explained Celebrity’s commitment, “During a Celebrity internal culture workshop our leadership team was asked point blank:  ‘How well do you really know your team?’ The overwhelming answer was ‘Very well, we’ve worked together for years. We have a great relationship.’ Then they were asked to write down all the FORD (Family, Occupation, Recreation, Dreams) information they knew about their direct reports. The first three points of FORD are very straightforward, however not one leader could fill in the dreams and future aspirations of their direct reports.”

*Related – Meet as Strangers Leave as Friends


Meyer adds, “To really get to know a person on a deeper level by learning their hopes, dreams and aspirations—this elevated level of trust is what we are all aiming for. When trust within our team reaches this point, that’s really when the magic happens.

High trust is at the core culture of all successful companies, and low trust comes at a really high price.

The FORD method was introduced as a tool to elevate relationships and build trust within our teams, applicable to everyone from the VPs in the head office all the way to our Celebrity Cleaners onboard all of the ships.

No matter the title or position, we really felt like the FORD method should be utilized and promoted with every single one of our team members.”

Celebrity included FORD in the computer-based training program they use to certify each Celebrity employee on the company’s service philosophy. They also included the FORD method as an integral part of their leadership team’s one-on-one’s, employee check-in, and quarterly review sessions.

Meyer concludes, “We are confident that by focusing on our internal culture, elevating the trust within our teams and making a true commitment to service excellence we will continue yielding positive results in guest ratings, revenue, and employee satisfaction.”


In his book, Raise Your Line, Author Robert Stevenson shares step by step, how to improve your business performance, leadership skills, and reach your career goals. Stevenson gives countless practical and thought-provoking insights on how to succeed in this highly competitive business environment.

Stevenson emphasizes points that are extremely important to success. He places them in a box entitled “LINE RAISER” (there are over 100 of them in the book). Not only does he identify and explain the things readers should work on improving, he then tells them how.

*Related – Words Customers Don’t Want to Hear article By Robert Stevenson


The DiJulius Group is thrilled to announce Robert Stevenson will be presenting at the 2019 Customer Service Revolution. With over 30 years of extensive corporate and entrepreneurial experience, Robert Stevenson understands what it takes to succeed. He is a man who knows how to deal with the risks, competition, and the ever-changing business arena.

His presentation is titled How to Raise Your Line. This program is a roadmap to business success. It is the perfect combination of proven business tactics solidly grounded in years of research.


86% of consumers who have a great experience are very likely to repurchase from the same company. Engaged and satisfied customers buy 50% more frequently, spend 200% more each year, and are five times more likely to display brand loyalty.

  1. A good customer experience is expected by consumers today. Would you like to guarantee that in your business?
  2. Does your management team know where to start when designing, leading and managing the customer’s experience?
  3. What if there was a program that could teach you how to go from your current state of service to world-class?
  4. A program where your leaders could learn from their own desk and then implement the strategy together. Are you ready to become a world class service organization?
About The Author

John DiJulius

John R. DiJulius is a best-selling author, consultant, keynote speaker and President of The DiJulius Group, the leading Customer experience consulting firm in the nation. He blogs on Customer experience trends and best practices.

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