The SOS conversation starter helps to walk the individual and the person they are addressing through the purpose of their conversation, setting clear expectations, and making a clear request for help. Each conversation starter pack comes with five cards to fill out.
Example Conversation Starter Card
How to Use the SOS Conversation Starter
Each conversation starter card has five sections to complete. These questions correspond to each section of the conversation starter card.
- Who are you addressing and are there any implications of this conversation? Being aware of your addressee’s commitments or relationships can prevent misunderstandings once the conversation has started.
- Why did you select this person to confide in? Are they someone whom you trust and can be part of a solution? Explaining to your addressee why you selected them will help you both set clear expectations for your conversation.
- What do you want to tell them? To help the conversation be clear, decide beforehand how much information you want to share and be specific in what you are saying. Your addressee may have follow up questions. Be prepared by knowing how much you are comfortable explaining. This will keep the conversation on the right track.
- How do you want them to help? Clear and specific examples of what is helpful, and what is not, will make it more comfortable for your addressee to engage in the conversation.
- Resilience is an important part of communication and the only part which is completely up to you. Vulnerable conversations can be very uncomfortable. The key is to press on. Remember that the reactions of your addressee are not your responsibility and do not reflect on your identity. You are worthy to be heard. Keep reaching out and you will find someone willing to engage and help.