Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Friday 25 March 2011

Effective interviews

The semi-structured interview to articulate stakeholder views has four parts. In the introduction we tell shortly why we are doing the interview. In the second part we - shortly - aim to get acquainted with the respondent. It provides him or her with an opportunity to position her/himself vis-a-vis our enquiry. It gives us the chance to express our respect for their work, responsibilities and experience. In the third part we collect information. Prepare in advance the (maximum ten) themes you want to ask (open) questions about. Open questions start with: ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘who’, how’. The answers received are followed by us encouraging them to tell more, e.g. by asking: “Can you give an example?”, “Can you explain?”, “What makes you say that?” etc. A theme can be closed by asking: “Do I understand you well that … (summary of answer)? Opninions can be cecked by: “Do I hear you say … (repeat your interpretation)?” We take notes of what they literally say. Afterwards we assemble the key words of their answers in an excell interview worksheet. This way we can compare with the answers of others. We end the interview with thanks, what will happen next, how they will be informed of the results and can comment on our draft report.

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