“The long interview is one of the most powerful methods in the qualitative armory. For certain descriptive and analytical purposes, no instrument of enquiry is more revealing. The method can take us into the mental world of the individual, to glimpse the categories and logic by which he or she sees the world. It can also take us into the lifeworld of the individual, to see the content and pattern of daily experience. The long interview gives us the opportunity to step into the mind of another person, to see and experience the world as they do themselves.”

- Grant McCracken, The Long Interview


Many efforts to effect change in a system begin with conversations among people who live the challenges present in that system. Yet such interactions sometimes fail to penetrate to the depth necessary to release latent forces for change. Generative dialogue interviews are in-depth, one-on-one conversations between key stakeholders that get them connected to one another and to their common potential.

These interviews are not simply objective data-collecting activities. They help people step out of their own world and into the values, motivations, and frames of thinking of others. Equally importantly, the interviews strengthen the connections of these key stakeholders to each other, to the system they inhabit, to the sources of their own thinking and to their commitments to effecting change.


Dialogue interview guidelines

dialogue interview handout


dialogue interview video

This video shows an excerpt of a dialogue interview with Jose Rico, conducted by Zaid Hassan during the Safer Through Unity Kick-off Workshop.