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bashful  |  dopey  |  sleepy  |  sneezy  |  doc  |  grumpy  |  happy

General Tips and Techniques

Generally, all of the behavior styles have some basic needs in common. All want to feel important. All want to be accepted as unique individuals yet valued and loved as part of the "family."

These are guidelines for creating an encouraging, supportive atmosphere for all participants, which will be followed by specific strategies for each "protective posture."

Establish rapport:

  • Greet each member as he walks into the room
  • In the initial introduction make eye contact with all participants
  • Smile
  • Be sure everyone speaks as early in session as possible
  • If possible, inject humor

Leader's stange:

  • To support a particular respondent, position yourself to his right
  • To enlist the support of a particular person, position yourself to his left
  • To encourage separateness or differing opinions, stand across from participant
  • Move around the room...
    - To shift the balance of power
    - Raise the energy of the group

Written exercise:

  • Have respondents write down reactions to insure and encourage individual response to key questions
    - Reactions to:
    • Concept
    • Ad
    • Prototype
    • Package

    - Leader records responses on flip chart as verbatim as possible, to:
    • Value each person's contribution
    • Reward participation
    • Encourage further response

Reading non-verbal responses:

  • Check facial expressions
  • Notice body posture
  • Look for breathing changes
  • Pay attention to skin tone differences
  • Listen for voice tone and inflection
  • Acknowledge body language and draw out meaning when appropriate


  • Reinforce desired response by:
    - Verbalized praise, "good!"
    - Nodding/smiling
    - Gentle touch on shoulder

Process interruption:

  • Stop undesired response or behavior by:
    - Change of stimulus; i.e., quickly draw attention to something happening in the room, noise, sneeze, "accidentally" drop something (Disrupter usually forgets what he was saying or doing and returns control to leader)
    - Do not make eye contact with disrupter until he changes behavior to more desired response

Note; most critical is to have a basic love and appreciation of people and their individual struggles. None of these techniques can work well if the leader does not have compassion for the group's members.


To read descriptions of the each Dwarf Personalities, choose an appropriate link below:
bashful  |  dopey  |  sleepy  |  sneezy  |  doc  |  grumpy  |  happy


About The Author
Dr. Sharon Livingston

Sharon Livingston, Ph.D. is founder and Co-President of The Looking Glass and Executive Solutions, Inc. Articles either about or by Dr. Livingston have appeared in The New York Times (several times - see 5/6/01 Long Island edition), Marketing News, Communication World, Adweek, The Washington Post, The Daily News, Newsday, Advertising and Communication Times, The American Bar Association Journal, Delta Sky, Discover, Beverage World, U.S. News and World Report, Quirks Marketing Review, and Winners. Her work has been referenced in The Group Depth Interview, a book published by Prentice-Hall, and Beyond Mind Games a book published by American Demographics. She has addressed gatherings of the American Marketing Association, the Advertising Research Foundation, the Pharmaceutical Marketing Research Society, Qualitative Research Consultant Association, Marketing Research Associaiton, The Qualitative Research Council of the Advertising Research Foundation, Professional Marketing Research Society of Canada and the Sales Executive Clubs. Dr. Livingston holds a B.A. in Psychology, an M.A. in Organizational Behavior and a PhD in Clinical Psychology, has had extensive training in creative ideation procedures, group dynamics, applied psychological techniques and projective methods. She is currently on the Qualitative Research Council of the Advertising Research Foundation, is a current and founding member of QRCA - the Qualitative Research Consultant Association; a founding member of FFA - the Focus Facility Association, and is also a member of the American Marketing Association, and the National Association of Female Executives.



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Executive Solutions Inc. has been a leader in Moderator/Facilitator Training and Global Qualitative Research more than 20 years, serving clients such as American Express, Lipton, Kraft, Nabisco, Pfizer Animal Health, Novartis, Parke Davis, Bausch & Lomb, Eastman Kodak, Proctor & Gamble, Panasonic, Anheuser Busch, AT&T, Nextel, NYNEX, Ford Motor Company, Nickelodeon, Pepsico, Y&R, Grey Advertising, Mennen, Bath & Body Works, Lucent Technologies, Citibank, Johnson & Johnson, Hallmark, and Sara Lee Hosiery.

The Snow White Dwarf paradigm for group members is only one of dozens of easy to remember and easy to use group facilitation methods taught by Executive Solutions Inc. To learn more about our acclaimed group moderator/facilitator training courses, please visit or and click on one of our training links.


Interested in seeing Dr. Sharon Livingston present her theory of Dwarf personalities, or being trained to utilize this theory in person? Visit our main conference site or moderator training site at your convenience.

Not a facilitator or group leader? The Looking Glass is always looking for people up to participate in our worldwide research groups in exchange for cash. Average payment is $60 - $80 U.S. for two hours in person. Paid Online research is also available for (average payment is $10 - $25 for one hour). Click here to find out more.



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