Finding The Best Focus Group Moderators: Charisma
What characteristics do the best focus group moderators share? If you’ve been following the Focus Pointe Global Blog this week, then you know that objectivity is an essential trait for any successful moderator. Given the extensive flexibility, planning and coordination required by the moderation process, efficiency is also important.
Without the ability to put people at ease and create the kind of relaxed and intimate group settings that invite participation from every focus group respondent, even the most objective and efficient moderators won’t get far.
Therefore, the third, and perhaps most critical, characteristic of a good moderator can best be described as charisma. The best professional moderators know how to interact with complete strangers, encouraging them to open up and talk about their feelings, beliefs and experiences with candor. They know how to establish a strong professional rapport with respondents and encourage them to speak their minds freely and openly.
Good moderators are personable, friendly and warm without being unprofessional or overly familiar. They have an uncanny ability to manage interpersonal and group dynamics in such a way as to elicit responses from even the shyest of focus group respondents. They are skilled at probing unexpected turns in the discussion, teasing out thoughts and perceptions, digging deeper to uncover the underlying emotions and motivations without taking the entire group off track.
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