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


staff culturally diverse leadership workshop cold rain healthy future social analysis plans newspaper owning a home 1994 anzac house price data analyst sydney event TED talk publication priorities live the dream internship hopes typical australian Royals society resource the hills shire Northern Beaches Christian School tea gig economy easy rider impact Australian demographics Aussie System's Architect property sports market research politics Western Australia Australian Bureau of Statistics award millenials goals Mark McCrindle innovation career geomapping cost of living casual generation gender rental stress insight Love states men personal growth students generational trends royal influence australians staying home more mover and shaker land of the middle class office space average sydneysider graphs retirement criminal define wage Bathburst social commentator manly shopping mortgage baby names report work-life communications Research Executive learn Crime Rates aged care puzzle February 16 school satisfaction global financial crisis social trends victoria relational professional development wealth royal family high density living Sydney budget presentation NT interactive office opening mccrindle research changing face of sydney social enquiry Channel 7 Australian Families medicine Myth technology New South Wales families Queensland: QLD visualisation spend tattoos insights bus paying to work communicate IT Specialists generation alpha supply and demand business performance research internet christmas entrepreneurs of today the australian dream norwest commuters ferry demography educhat slideshare quote identity housing growth charities story teach REIV National Conference video media activity results personalities 10 years 40 million report census data school students university degree workforce social issues youth Northern beaches Event 24,000,000 gold coast housing trends FOMO aged care Adelaide annual income NBRS wellbeing coffee Caregiver learner bureau professional speaker long weekend government trend tuesday research visualisation social researcher not-for-profit financial dreams grave decision volunteers Financial Planning Association of Australia Macquarie University baby name networking Melbourne Research Director click future of work NFP event child care stay home contiki choice workers cloudy days Real Estate Institute of Victoria property market volunteering community event Engineering Manager young australians population milestone socialites Hills Shire Council ipswich work princess charlotte Sydney keynote speaker faux-cilising Kirsten Brewer travelling sydneycity hornsby professional services living workshop Scouts baby names australia report Andrew Duffin Wodonga focus groups Valentine’s Day infographics Word Up hobart World Water Day cartodb tv 2016 census results education organisational culture millennials infographic greatness sun earnings storytelling SA logan menai communities average aussie affordability local community SMART faith balance property price tuesday marketing stats small business panel public speaker employment charity income winter relevant PSI cars training care support marriage teachers debate Real Estate future of shopping alpha emerging technologies unemployment education future report shopping centre GPO social mythbusting SRE parenting trend family cooking Work place gen z environment demographer 2016 census pharmacies wealth and income conference chairty friendship cultural diversity Northern Territory perth house investment trends of 2016 sunburnt country Northern Beaches education sector average Australian gen alpha internships business index google for education australian communities trends report housing market acf15 sector eliane demographics analysis suburbs world youth day schools experience moreton bay wealth distribution conference presentation VET future media ageing population Queensland earning English trends analyst residents Netflix culture Christmas presents post rationalism local communities tableau program research data mythbusters challenge social research holiday showreel "know the times" 24 million study collaborative learning recap media release religion new york times optus my business awards online shopping shifts capital cities 2013 cancelling plans DESTEL WA tertiary education thrive mccrindle belief statistics prince george sentiments skills follow workplace low density NSW jobs of the future The ABC of XYZ 2014 couple real demographic trends Australian Population households Births growing population McCrindle Speakers omnibus breakfast forecasting outsourcing future proof moderators guide winter blues finance population growth Charlotte clothing apartment holidays change earn cultural diveristy apartments leadership ethnography research pack sydney hills google crows nest demographic Gen Y neutral bay friends socialising The Daily Edition rich the changing face of women Wagga Wagga dream Generation X going out suburban living investing transport society trends global travel happiness salary social researchers builders Australia street emerging generations snapshot public speaking census 2016 village January 26th baby names community university award winner social impact James Ward toys dessert meals future-proof census results wedding ideas financial planning daily telegraph nfp future of education ashley mckenzie Australian Home population household research report growth grandparents sydney speaker housing Tuesday Trends food urban the hills safe 2015 careers JOMO wages Tasmania australian communities forum optimistic high density qualitative research sustainable wealth and income distribution digital equip resilience financial future 2017 easter Christmas season social media australia twentyseventeen TDE mateship Territory father's day South Australia Assistant Store Manager Skilling thought leadership financial baby boomers ACF17 Duchess of Cambridge renting product middle class trends of 2017 non profit ease of travel bondi summer Do It Yourself ageing infographic wall CPI FPA darwin house price rise high density apartments survey national crime rates Geoff Brailey Australian community trends professional presenters leader repayments eliane miles screenage blaxland faux-cilise vegemite rent Australian Trends kate middleton mining boom mobile pyrmont responsive young people energy SMSF social life renter of the future housing affordability professional shopper's pick megatrends 2020 curiosity Education Future Forum baby boom VIC australian social research aussie culture schools students trends global generations online rise of local financial independence Australians presentations spirituality innovative Australian Census consumer national wealth ACT financial fears buildings seasons baby name predictions intern social lives goal know the times brand poker master speakers crime office urban taskforce cost not for profit brands mccrindle tea high school Vocational education futurist millionth workplace culture community engagement litter staying in hills shire Res Vis church hills case study water social commentary optus teaching volunteer Aussies huffington post youth unemployment student local daily commute educated work mates authenticity speaker baby name trends dreams state car in the media weather learning styles keynote speaker HSC Australia Day 2017 in depth interviews population map census employers emerging trends Financial Planning Week researcher Christmas lunch Canberra ultimo parents participants increasing densification group session social change year 7 mentor area proactive lifestyle REIV Conference Tuesday Trend census fail NEETs New Zeland offenders capital city narcissism Financial Planning Association meetings purpose home australian divorce wolloomooloo #censusfail demographic transformations sydney metro children events data visualisation economic sydneysider 2016 New Zealand home owner survey design ACF 2016 Generation Y christianity Australian communities DIY visual ashley fell debt forecast Hornsby Shire Council cancel plans VET sector baby royal baby suburb education future marriages names urban living index fresh rising house prices year 12 woolworths world CBD Population Clock christian lalor park Australian schools Wellington Gen X teacher gig volunteering data future proofing faux-ciliser trades cancelling event cash Australian Dream potts point poor city collaboration TAS Deaths focus group engage motivate deloitte environmental scanning brisbane commute shbc mccrindle in the media dare to dream conferences Christchurch communication home ownership tips generations school dreaming research services entertainment royal weekly earnings consumerism ACF2017 life news australian community trends report overcast list vegetarian marrickville data Sydney Hills Business Chamber micro fears cica public holiday monarchy 1980 selfie Australia Day 2012 entrepreneurial speakers pack 1975 sunny days engagement economy conference speaker hello fresh etiquette unaffordable townhouses TED group media commentary domestic sector wide study the great screenage 1968 rule keeper pharmacy brand experience money forum social shifts new office mother's day Channel Seven generation Z EFF urban living Kiwi teleworking NBRS Architecture house prices investor sector wide 23 million jobs Australian Communities Trends ACF ABS Social Trend the average aussie organisations national private wealth micro apartments business affordable customer sydneysiders train keynote divorce rate language facts TEDx event entrepreneur education research Merry Christmas waverton celebration