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Meaning and Moderating

Tuesday, October 18, 2022 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Today's program was really good! 

Generally, I think most of our programs are really good, but I guess I'm not always writing a blog post after them, so there's that.

Today, Kathleen Kerr gave us “Moderating vs Facilitating – Learn the different skills needed to be an effective moderator,” which really got me thinking!

I've facilitated a lot for a long time--and both facilitated as in content-neutral, process guide and as in learning facilitator with some expertise in the content. So, the distinction between the roles was really interesting and created new facets in my "Crystal Palace"--OK, wouldn't it be cool to be one of those Sherlock-y people who visualizes the complex relationships to that degree? perhaps "Crystal Cottage" is more accurate! :) 

Anyway, all of that thinking about the roles and nuance resulting from purpose, was joined by the prospect of building a panel. I guess until she said it, I assumed panel moderators were brought in just to moderate after the panel had been assembled by someone else. I don't know who I think I am. I have only worked in the non-profit/education sector where there has never been enough money to toss around to have two or more people do what one person can do by herself, so obviously it would be the same person, but...

The prospect of building a panel really got me! Then, already primed by the facets of my Crystal Cottage regarding roles and responsibilities of Moderators and Facilitators, I suddenly saw the kagillion facets of humans and the x to the 10th power or that in their interests/perspectives, and Whoosh!

Imagine being a moderator who is assembling a panel of people to talk about a hot button topic. Consider all you must consider:

  • what is our context?
  • why are we looking at this topic in this group?
  • why is it hot?
  • what are the different perspectives of this topic?
  • which of those perspectives must we include in our panel?
  • how big/small should our panel be?
  • what voices do we need to represent for it to be taken seriously?
  • what voices do we need to represent to serve the topic and the group?
  • who has those voices?
  • what does each of those people bring?
  • how does each of those people connect?
  • and on and on

I work with volunteers, and so this idea of finding people who don't just fill a role, but also bring value to the role is wonderful! I love the idea of being thoughtful on all sides of the invitation to help--whether on a panel or on a board or with a troop of Girl Scouts:

  • Is this role right for me? +Is this person right for this role?
  • What will I get out of this role?    +What will this person bring to this role?
  • Who will I/this person be serving and serving with?
  • How will that work?

So many things!

People are awesome and wonder-filled and weird and difficult and mysterious and brilliant!

That's what I loved about today's program, too! It was offered by Kathleen, who is chapter member and a volunteer for ATD Maine! AND she came on the heels of Richard Parent and Sheila Adkins, also both members and board members for our chapter! Our chapter is a treasure chest of brilliance and insight and experience and opportunities for discovery!

Where does your brilliance lie? What interests or insights or experience might you share with us? And how would that sharing serve you?

Let's dive into that next week.


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