Anthony Nash IAF Methods

Interview Matrix -- smaller groups

by for . Last edit was over 2 years ago
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The Interview Matrix  builds dialogue in groups up to 40 participants

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The Interview Matrix is a tool to build dialogue in small groups of up to 40 people. 


You will be able to upload attachments once after you create the method.


  • Four flip charts
  • Results Template for each participant


The Interview Matrix (For groups up to 40 participants)

The Interview Matrix is a tool to build dialogue in small groups of up to 40 people.

It is a powerful way to get a whole group engaged in dialogue, with equal airtime, focus and consensus building as the main elements.

It quickly brings a group to consensus, without any one participant hogging all the time or individuals making mini-speeches at each other around a table, as often happens in meetings.


The Interview Matrix is based on units of four. You need four questions, four flip charts, and starting groups of four people in each group. Questions need to qualify under three criteria:

1) Each question must stand alone, not be offered as a sequence, since they are not asked in a sequence.

2) They must be 'open' questions where the participants are known to have definite opinions.

3) They must be offered as one straightforward question, not "four complex questions posing as one".


• Break large group into smaller groups of four (each person is assigned a number 1 to 4 and thus owns one of the four questions). Each participant has a template with their number, the question, and space for the results of three upcoming interviews.

• There are six rounds of one-on-one interviews: Sequence: (1-2, 3-4) (2-3, 4-1) (2-4, 3-1) (3-2, 1-4) (4-2, 1-3) (2-1, 4-3)

• The second component is the convergent stage: "one’s" go to flip chart #1 and compare notes, "two’s" go to flipchart #2, and so on. Suggested posted discussion guide questions:

  • What are the common 'threads' of 'themes' that emerge from the answers to our question?
  • Any 'nuggets' or 'pearls of wisdom'?
  • What conclusions or recommendations can we reach?
  • Anything to add (since the members of each group have not answered their own question)?

• In the third component, the whole group debriefs each corner and comments on what is presented. Consensus is built.

This tool gets people working at speed with focus and full participation.

Approximate Timing (no allowance for a break):

6 Rounds – 6 minutes each = 36 mins.

Synthesis in groups (1, 2, 3 & 4) = 30 mins

Group presentations including Q’s & A’s for clarity - 4 x 6 mins = 24 mins

Total elapsed time = 90 minutes

Data produced

- Information from all the answer templates

- Flip chart sheets from the convergent stage


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  • This tool was presented in a session at the IAFNAC conference 2018 in Ottawa, thanks Tony for posting it!

    over 2 years ago