A previously published post on the RMS Bunker Blog discussed top qualities of a master moderator. The blog post was based on a book written by written by Naomi Henderson from Riva Market Research & Training Institute. That blog post discussed traits 1 through 12, while this blog post will serve as a part two, addressing moderator traits 13 through 25.
Here is the second set of master moderator traits:
13. Handles diverse opinions. When you get a group of 4 to 12 people, opinions will vary. A moderator needs to be able to promote discussion among a variety of focus group participant personalities.
14. Remains flexible.
15. Conducts linking and logic tracking. A strong moderator can analyze the discussion as it takes place and think about pertinent follow-up lines of questions.
16.Uses a variety of techniques. Keep the focus group participants engaged and fresh.
17. Uses interventions.
18. Uses sophisticated naivete (wisdom). Draw from findings in past groups, or from findings earlier in the same group.
19. Comfortable with uncertainty. The entire group will not go as planned, a good moderator is okay with “off-the-cuff” questions.
20. Thinks rapidly and makes appropriate decisions. There are several curve-balls in every single focus group. A good moderator can adjust on-the-fly.
21.Utilizes other paradigms.
22. Allows spontaneity in group process. Some of the most rich discussion in a focus group wasn’t expected or listed in the moderator’s preparation guide. Allow for it, see where it takes you if time allows.
23.Uses accurate language and paraphrases.
24. Analyzes qualitative data.
25. Remains human, not mechanical. If you are going to moderate a focus group, have fun with it. I enjoy dabbling in a little sarcasm or joke here and there just to keep the participants on their toes. Because after hours of prep time, late hours into the night at the facility and multiple cups of coffee, you have to find fun in the process.
Looking for a focus group moderator in NY? Contact our Business Development Director Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. RMS has several trained focus group and in-depth interview (IDI) moderators on-staff to assist with your market research.