Qualitative Research; 5 tips for running group sessions

Monday, October 31, 2016

At McCrindle we run all kinds of qualitative research from in depth interviews, co-creation groups, ethnographic interviews and of course focus groups. Here are some tips for when you are running any kind of group session.

Make sure the questions flow

When writing the questions for the moderator’s guide, order the questions so that they take participants on a logical and sequential journey through the different topics you are exploring. Keep the most important questions at the start of each section in case you run out of time.

Come prepared and organised

Make sure the experience gets off to a good start by being organised and bringing everything you need and everything you think you might need. A focus group checklist helps to make sure that important items are not forgotten.

Start the way you want to finish

It is important to remember that you (as the moderator) set the tone for the group and create the ‘vibe’ you want. Try and make some light hearted comments at the start of the group and ask each person to introduce themselves to make participants feel comfortable.

Mix it up

The standard focus group length of 90 minutes can feel like a long time when it is limited to group discussion. Try using post it notes to get participant’s quick thoughts on topics, use a whiteboard for brainstorming and electronic voting technology to break up the discussion.

Keep calm and just listen

Participants are going to feel more comfortable if the moderator seems relaxed and in control. They can tell and appreciate when you are listening to them and giving them your full attention. Use your body language, hand gestures and encouraging words to show that you value and are interested in their opinions.

To find out more about the qualitative research we conduct, click on our updated research pack below or head to mccrindle.com.au

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


income trends of 2017 Mark McCrindle trends community happiness social shifts balance debate water group session internship ultimo Real Estate Institute of Victoria etiquette aussie culture safe mccrindle in the media local community crime marriages staff follow unaffordable world award winner investor australian social research communities culture keynote speaker staying in residents graphs sentiments global offenders renter of the future ferry thought leadership rental stress Financial Planning Association of Australia Channel Seven middle class trend tuesday cash purpose Christchurch bus conference speaker gold coast trades sydney speaker ashley fell work mates research visualisation home ownership survey design Wodonga PSI focus group waverton video demographer entrepreneurs of today young people public holiday google for education tea winter story cost educhat aged care Real Estate cultural diversity cloudy days Christmas season young australians relevant year 7 ageing English emerging technologies urban transport generation Z Andrew Duffin royal influence cica royal family TDE panel australia Australia Day 2017 school students office opening internships father's day commuters hornsby princess charlotte 2017 Skilling rain research report woolworths rich alpha cartodb research data data analyst sector victoria education teachers the hills education future report 1975 case study study 2020 sydney hills business index Australian Bureau of Statistics insight toys wealth and income distribution goal brand teach trends analyst moreton bay impact Australia Day professional speaker social enquiry new york times demographic transformations housing growth dare to dream census results The ABC of XYZ demographic dream motivate South Australia work-life tableau domestic school office Tasmania millenials student Financial Planning Association Bathburst teleworking weekly earnings January 26th high density VIC national wealth jobs of the future micro home owner intern technology twentyseventeen social researchers future of shopping pyrmont curiosity office space healthy future sydney event education research NBRS property market Aussie Gen Y townhouses forecasting households Population Clock generation alpha dreaming shopper's pick growing population Sydney ipswich faux-cilising professional services define learning styles faux-cilise authenticity sydneycity prince george speakers ethnography culturally diverse REIV Conference Caregiver mover and shaker marrickville overcast resource the changing face of qualitative research pharmacies urban living mythbusters divorce capital city budget Education Future Forum meetings future of work financial dreams anzac equip non profit Duchess of Cambridge eliane analysis christianity social commentary entertainment sector wide study house price rise economic monarchy Royals presentation investing litter Hills Shire Council media activity baby names report slideshare household REIV National Conference socialising tips mentor Gen X public speaking housing trends thrive friends organisations TAS 24,000,000 Res Vis millionth buildings easter cars greatness divorce rate holiday 2015 the australian dream mobile data census fail christmas teacher Christmas lunch bondi tertiary education future proofing average sydneysider society optus my business awards 24 million holidays affordable youth unemployment mccrindle not for profit socialites report baby NT hobart population milestone marriage Generation Y tuesday population growth social analysis FOMO personalities Wellington customer Merry Christmas CPI collaboration #censusfail Scouts Wagga Wagga language shopping centre networking innovation post rationalism Australian Dream geomapping royal baby emerging generations 2016 census conference world youth day year 12 priorities emerging trends changing face of sydney trends of 2016 2016 facts Geoff Brailey suburban living seasons Australian demographics local infographic shbc forecast work Christmas presents manly SA NSW innovative wellbeing Myth NBRS Architecture spirituality baby name trends entrepreneur visual interactive poor social media grandparents house price australian communities trends report baby name Generation X christian winter blues research conferences optus researcher click pharmacy global financial crisis proactive Australian Population salary CBD travelling ideas future proof hopes Australian schools celebration daily commute mythbusting 2012 darwin data visualisation schools 2013 professional development not-for-profit rule keeper finance acf15 2014 responsive Social Trend google weather contiki affordability new office living house relational the hills shire marketing communicate Valentine’s Day belief in the media Love New Zeland huffington post environment public speaker Western Australia census 2016 university degree commute personal growth moderators guide WA children community engagement annual income suburbs career goals shifts faith wedding Tuesday Trend recap Engineering Manager McCrindle Speakers the average aussie quote lalor park Charlotte Sydney Hills Business Chamber cooking property global generations generation tv Adelaide university optimistic brisbane research services ashley mckenzie Financial Planning Week keynote training EFF food hills shire Queensland communication award faux-ciliser Kirsten Brewer fresh market research statistics rising house prices bureau online shopping Do It Yourself Vocational education social commentator program norwest gender supply and demand challenge cancel plans gen alpha leadership media release Australian communities workplace 23 million sydneysiders housing conference presentation gen z learning SRE narcissism Australian Communities Trends leader house prices snapshot Northern Territory futurist storytelling urban taskforce learner generations digital baby boomers research pack real omnibus online sydney metro "know the times" baby names australia report plans mccrindle research news demographic trends Northern Beaches government travel events students experience youth sunny days debt February 16 parenting outsourcing school satisfaction community event Australians royal 1994 Crime Rates energy church HSC financial fears group property price urban living index rise of local ACT social issues megatrends social impact cold neutral bay survey Canberra The Daily Edition mccrindle tea James Ward state child care SMART 10 years Births jobs generational trends train engagement breakfast ease of travel future-proof Macquarie University charity social trends home Tuesday Trends politics consumerism micro apartments in depth interviews earnings change JOMO sunburnt country communications increasing densification families engage schools students long weekend local communities Deaths Channel 7 high school skills stats sector wide focus groups hello fresh social change housing market Northern Beaches Christian School 40 million trend cancelling event vegemite Australian Families VET brands wolloomooloo professional national private wealth employment participants education future shopping World Water Day Australian Home NEETs entrepreneurial environmental scanning teaching Australian Trends identity poker master millennials visualisation financial future Territory wealth workforce SMSF couple education sector city ACF paying to work friendship leadership workshop society trends unemployment Research Executive mining boom workshop national crime rates ageing population product kate middleton census typical australian nfp dessert mortgage FPA Aussies easy rider australians staying home more grave decision Sydney keynote speaker 1980 Queensland: QLD future suburb area Melbourne sustainable social researcher apartment System's Architect results village Word Up educated future of education publication aged care puzzle eliane miles Australian Census DIY spend deloitte high density living demography perth financial business brand experience internet Kiwi owning a home media commentary resilience housing affordability Northern beaches Event population map infographic wall car wealth and income demographics rent social 2016 census results high density apartments baby name predictions volunteers financial independence sun stay home workplace culture New South Wales medicine coffee employers average Australian forum cancelling plans 1968 clothing Hornsby Shire Council parents capital cities earn social life VET sector crows nest religion states Work place daily telegraph learn apartments australian communities forum population sydneysider summer insights mateship potts point ACF 2016 fears social lives media careers baby names criminal collaborative ABS life logan vegetarian cost of living small business builders know the times growth presentations average aussie meals consumer tattoos land of the middle class selfie New Zealand DESTEL baby boom list newspaper blaxland men event Assistant Store Manager Netflix lifestyle wages repayments women wage GPO organisational culture mother's day wealth distribution names retirement investment business performance going out renting family menai social research sports IT Specialists low density earning economy