In lieu of the recent election, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about body language and how even the slightest movement can reveal a world full of valuable information and meaning. From the way someone smiles to the way they shake hands, can reveal telling emotions such as frustration, strength or timidity. So how does this apply to qualitative research? As you might recall, I wrote a blog a few months ago about the power of presence and how your presence or lack there of can greatly affect one’s ability to relate with others. As researchers, it’s our job to present ourselves in a position of strength; confidence and sincerity in order to relate with consumers and pick up on those subtle, non-verbal cues.
In order to pick up on those subtle cues, we must first be aware of our own movements and non-verbal communication. Once you become aware of your own behavior, you are then better equipped to detect the small, yet powerful movements of others. Our moderators are experts at observing and thoughtfully engaging consumers at the moment of product selection to reveal the valuable truths about what motivates the purchase. Perhaps it’s a slight tilt of the head, a smile, or a brief moment of hesitation before the consumer reaches for the product. It’s within those key moments that we are able to reveal breakthrough insights that are often undetected by the average eye.
Amy Cuddy, a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School and expert on nonverbal behavior, recently shared her non-verbal insight on the first presidential debate in the video below. Take a look and see if you were able to pick up on some of the most revealing nonverbal cues:
~ Marilyn Weiss
President & Founding Partner