Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA) - QRCA Views Magazine, Fall 2020

I keep thinking back to one particu- larly interesting flight I was on in the mid-2000s. I was living in Chicago and traveling to Houston. An early morning trip to start the week. I boarded the plane and headed to my assigned row. Once I arrived, there was a woman sitting at the window. She was around my age and casually dressed. She was well put together. We made brief eye contact and had a pleasant nod of acknowledgement. I grabbed my seat. “Where are you going?” she asked. “Houston,” I answered, knowing that the answer wasn’t always obvious on a hub-to-hub flight. “How about yourself?” “Oh, I don’t know where I’m off to.” Fine. I’ll bite. As all moderators know, a response like that is a license to probe deeper. I looked up from my airplane magazine with a curious gaze. “I’m on the way to a reverse surprise party,” she said. B efore “the great pause” resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, I used to spend a lot of time on airplanes. It’s strange to talk about now, but we all know what that was like. Row upon row of seats. Only one of which was yours. Every human traveling to a different place for a different reason. Like ping-pong balls moving across America. You find yourself sit- ting next to anyone. n TOOLBOX n USING THE PSYCHOLOGICAL POWER OF TRIANGLES FOR BETTER INTERVIEWS 38 QRCA VIEWS FALL 2020 www.qrca.org