The Art of Listening

That's what we do as qualitative researchers...we listen...and we gain insights from listening, right? Not always easy after multiple interviews spread across any number of days, especially for those of us who have trouble remembering people's names upon initial meeting...

How do you train yourself to listen it even possible?  Not sure for everyone but here's how I do it when I'm moderating.  I have to start out the first few minutes of an intro REALLY listening (in a group or an IDI or an ethnography), and if I do that, something clicks and I'm able to focus throughout the remainder of an interview.

So, how do I REALLY listen?  You guessed it...visually, with a picture!  Yep, we are all familiar with the images we want respondents to use to share their deepest emotions.  I love using these in intros for two reasons:  1)  it gives respondents and clients a high level, metaphorical image about the subject at hand and 2) it gives me a greater mental picture to help me stay focused for the rest of the gives me art for listening!