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


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