In this interview in The Listening Resource blog (August 29th, 2013), Susan Eliot talks to Dr. Richard Kreuger, professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota specializing in program evaluation, applied research methodology and qualitative analysis, about qualitative interview skills and how new researchers can apply these.
Note: The original URL link for this resource is currently down. This page has been updated with a link to an archived version of the webpage. (10th October, 2017)
Mindfulness in listening is a key theme in this conversation. Kreuger offers insight into the process of engaging in the act of listening, including preparation before the interview - both in terms of developing questions and follow-ups, as well as the mental preparation needed to shut down the impulse to focus on their own opinions and reactions to what they hear.
Kreuger also offers strategies for a number of interviewing techniques, including:
- How listen and think simultaneously throughout an interview
- How to stay focused rather than go into a passive listening mode
- How to deal with participants who repeat themselves or go off topic
- Managing participants in a focus group
- Ideas on working with the body language of participants
- How to utilize the crucial time immediately after the interview
- General advice on how interviewers can actively work on improving their interviewing and listening skills
"Everyone thinks they are a good listener. But there’s a considerable difference between informal listening and the listening needed when involved in disciplined inquiry. When listening in a research mode, you need to engage in a different way. It takes preparation, mindfulness, discipline, concentration, and strategies for capturing the data. In addition, you must create the appropriate environment that fosters an effective interview." (Kreuger in Elliot 2013).
Elliot, Susan. (2013, August 29). 'Dr. Richard Kreuger on Qualitative Listening' [Interview]. The Listening Resource Blog. Retrieved from http://www.qualitative-researcher.com/listening/dr-richard-krueger-on-qualitative-listening/