Their Opinions Matter

As a qualitative researcher, one of the most important aspects is allowing the opportunity for voices to be heard. We say that at the beginning of every group and oftentimes wonder if this is why our moderators have such success in getting respondents to openly share—the good, the bad, and the ugly.   Eliciting such honest conversation might be achievable in multiple ways, but for us, making respondents believe that their voice matters has been very successful.

People want their voices, their lives, their opinions and experiences to matter.   It is frustrating for people to go through this world thinking that they have little to no say in the daily happenings of the world around them. Instilling a belief in respondents that they matter and that the purpose of the group revolves around their words being heard is critical to success.

In order to effectively do this, moderators have to be great listeners and even better at putting respondents at ease. Establishing rapport from the moment the respondents enter the room is key. Making the respondents feel at ease and comfortable in the environment is also very important. And being clear that the purpose of the group is to make sure their opinion will be heard is paramount to the success of the group. Some moderators want to be the center of attention, instead of allowing the stories in the room to take center stage. In those instances, respondents are often repelled and turned off by the experience, they sit quietly, answer with short, one-word responses and countdown the minutes until their time is up. When moderators make the respondents feel like the important ones in the room, the richness of the content is undeniable.
Respondents have to know and feel that they matter. That their voices are being heard. That their opinions count. When done correctly, it’s no surprise when the respondents hug the moderator.

Megan Popp Blog Bio

Give Your Insights Wings

Business expects more from research these days. Gone are the days of delivering data and expecting the business team to harvest the data to find the insight. Those who welcome this change will succeed, because they will enable the business to succeed. As the researcher, we must be responsible to the business by building high-quality research programs and delivering real, actionable insights. The business team wants knowledge and a belief in their direction forward. They want wisdom that enables them to get budget approval on a new product or new campaign. They want big ideas that help them set a vision. They want those big ideas to take flight, and they need our help to do it. Not through cross-tabs and PowerPoint decks, but by bringing the business closer to people (the consumer) so they can envision the future.


Here are five ways to ensure your team’s insights take off:

1. Be useful, don’t just be clever

2. Be willing to allow others to contribute and earn credit for their ideas.

3. Make connections between the brand and the broader cultural trends and deeper human truths (i.e. instincts and motivations). To do this, you must get out of the office to interact with the people the brand seeks to engage.

4. Make space for your mind to create/connect good ideas and be creative. HINT: you can’t do this in front of your computer or while on your blackberry. Set aside time each day to sit back, workout, or to do whatever activity allows your mind to explore freely.

5. Key to success is understanding the basics of human communication (or better yet, interaction). Know how to listen and be heard. Make time to improve your understanding of what triggers and levers are useful for illuminating the insight and action needed.

Will Krieger