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


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