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A client view of Moderating Skills Workshop

It may seem a little unusual for a client to attend an AQR moderating course, but this was one of the most beneficial I have been on. I now have a much greater appreciation of a moderator's skills and techniques and feel that I am able to add real value when working with our research agencies to plan groups and write discussion guides.

I have also already used many of the skills and techniques learnt in meetings and workshops. The blob tree in particular helped me understand how the Unilever shopper marketing team felt about evaluating the ROI of their shopper marketing activities!

Acting as a respondent was also useful: although I have viewed hundreds of groups over the years, to experience one from this perspective was enlightening. The learnings that I gained will allow me to be the voice of the respondent when working with my colleagues internally, ensuring that we create the perfect brief to generate the most actionable insights.

My personal highlight was definitely moderating a group. It gave me a real insight into how skilled a quallie needs to be to manage the dynamics of the group, ask the right questions and also to listen and observe respondents most effectively. I can only apologise to any moderators that I have said “what a great group of respondents” to. I now realise that it is the moderator who is responsible for the greatness of the group!


Jenny Hearne
Head of Thinkers Thoughts, Watch Me Think

This article was first published in InBrief magazine, August 2015
Copyright © Association for Qualitative Research, 2015