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Conversations and interviews
Conversations and interviews

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1.3.2 Unplanned conversations

Sometimes, almost out of the blue, a colleague or friend will say something that is really helpful to your inquiry and you will find yourself in a conversation that almost becomes an interview. On other occasions an opportunity will arise, perhaps because of a car journey together or over a cup of coffee, and you will be able to shape a conversation to help answer questions that are relevant to your inquiry. Now, you will need to be careful, of course, for if you get a reputation for steering every chance conversation towards your ‘pet project’, very soon nobody will be willing to chat with you! However, do be attentive to opportunities that present themselves. One thing that I’ve found helpful is to carry a small notebook around with me where I can jot down interesting comments that I’d like to recall. We’ll see that that notebook is also helpful if we’re doing observational research.