SIX LESSONS LEARNED FROM LEADING 6,000 FOCUS GROUPS

One of the nice things about getting older is knowing that wisdom comes from experience.   When I led my first groups in the late 1970’s, my knowledge came from sociology and psychology books as well as from watching more experienced moderators.  I made a lot of mistakes, which taught me well.  A New Age guru said in the 1980’s, “Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t and that equals success.” 

I am living proof that he was right! Here are six lessons on what I have learned after leading 6,000 focus groups – roughly one lesson every 1,000 groups is how it has averaged out.

Lesson 1:       Trust your own judgment

Lesson 2:       Put everything in writing

Lesson 3:       No one remembers the last group you led – you are only as good as your next group

Lesson 4:       Maintain research rigor not research rigidity

Lesson 5:       Laugh early – it will all be funny later

Lesson 6:       Learn to expect and embrace change

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