As a follow on from my previous posts on how to write a discussion guide and the importance of the first 15 minutes, I wanted to focus in on the last 5 minutes of a group. Specifically, how to ask a great question that can shift how you see things.
Beyond the need to be mindful of what is commercially sensitive or personal and identifiable, by the end of the group, you are free to ask almost whatever you want. You do not need to guard against leading – you have already covered everything. It’s a time to share ideas and give back to the group. To discuss. Peer to peer.
You invariably develop theories over the course of the fieldwork. Share them in the last five minutes. Describe what you’ve already learned, describe the hypothetical so that the person or people answering can run with that. You are opening the door and provoking someone to go even further. Sometimes this provokes something in someone else and on it goes. It may not lead to the right answer (if there is such a thing) but it could take you somewhere further and deeper in your understanding of consumer behaviour than you would have otherwise gone.