Once Upon a Group: A Guide to Running and Participating in Successful Groups Second Edition

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Any demographic forms should take no more than three minutes to complete. Plan to have participants arrive 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the actual focus group. This will give them time to fill out paper work, have a bite to eat, get comfortable, and introduce themselves. Have the participants introduce themselves. People are typically more comfortable sharing opinions if they know a little bit about the other people in the group, even if it's just their names.

This is especially true for focus groups on controversial community issues. Set up a table at the entrance to the venue with name tags. If the focus group is composed of anonymous strangers, place random numbers of the name tags to use. Use these numbers to identify participants. Announce the purpose of the meeting. Prepare an introduction that concisely explains the reason for the group to meet. Don't assume people are at all familiar with the topic at hand, or how a focus group functions.


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Explain that this is a brainstorming session, for sharing as many detailed opinions as possible. Remind them that the focus group will be recorded, but that there are no right answers and that the purpose is to get their opinion. Ask questions to guide the discussion. Use one of your prepared questions to kick off the discussion. Stick with the topic until you have achieved good responses, before moving on to the next. Use additional, unprepared questions to ask for more detail if the participants are giving brief answers.

Summarize what someone has said and ask if others feel the same way. Ideally, your questions should encourage participants to talk among themselves, so that you can withdraw from the conversation. Stay neutral and empathetic. Don't insert your personal opinion into questions, or let the participants know your views on the topic.

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Avoid leading questions like "Don't you think it would be better if? For example, choosing someone of the same gender as the focus group can be important for making the participants feel like they have an empathetic host. Constantly scan the room and establish eye contact, especially with those who have been speaking less frequently. Record responses. The assistant should manage the tape recorder and write down comments in case the recorder fails.

Note, for example, body language when it seems bear on how the participant feels about the topic. Prevent any one individual from dominating the conversation. If one participant talks more often than the others, it's your job to politely put a stop to it. The best tactic is typically to encourage other people to speak up, with questions such as "Does anyone else have a different perspective?

Once clarified, it will make it easier for participants to build off the comment. Also, the ability to recount such points makes the moderator appear vested in the discussion, encouraging participation. Your goal should be solicit as many different opinions from as many participants as possible. Keeping the conversation open and easy is crucial. Tamp down arguments. Explain that you're not trying to reach consensus, and that more opinions lead to more helpful data. If participants are still heated or argumentative, change topic to the next question.

End the meeting within an hour and a half. The members of your focus group will become tired and, therefore, less productive somewhere between 45 to 90 minutes after the beginning of the focus group. Establish a set end time so that participants know what to expect. Adjourn by summarizing the useful results of the focus group, casting the focus group in a good light.

Thank everyone for contributing.

once upon a group a guide to running and participating in successful groups second edition Manual

Provide opportunities for feedback and review. Give the participants a chance to provide feedback, using an anonymous system if the focus group didn't go smoothly, or if the participants are your coworkers. You as the facilitator can also review the event to better prepare the organization for the next one.

After participants have left the room, record the date, time, and name of the group on the recorder. Discuss important takeaways and body language cues with the assistant to make sure that these are recorded with the rest of the focus group information. You generally want to ask three or four new groups the same questions. The purpose of a focus group is to get as many different opinions as possible.

Therefore, you should ideally continue to hold focus groups until you are no longer hearing new ideas. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Tips Start with the easiest and simplest topic possible and build in complexity from there. Check all technical equipment in advance, and have a contingency plan in case of technological failure. Avoid asking people "why do you think that? Each topic is illustrated with a lively drawing to communicate the ideas presented.

This second edition also covers diversity throughout and how to apply the ideas in the book to different settings. Based on research but written in an instantly accessible style, this fun guide will be essential reading for all those involved in groupwork including health and social care practitioners, volunteers, advice workers, youth workers and students. Buy Now. Quantity: 5 available. Shipping: Free within NZ More….


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