Moderating group decisions in the workplace is an exact science of it's own.
Here's nine tips on how to be great at moderating group decisions:
1. Communicate Clearly
Whether it be short form or long form, a good moderator needs to have excellent writing skills. A moderator needs to be able to communicate effectively. It’s important that everyone participating in a group decisions is on the same page and understands what is expected of them.
2. Be organized but be flexible
Moderating group decisions is like managing a collaborative project. Deadlines need to be met and milestones achieved. Not only does the moderator need to be able to plan meticulously and communicate any deadlines, the moderator has to be able to be flexible and adapt to any issues eg: (employee leaving in the middle of a group decision).
3. Involve the right people
It is often the moderators job to ensure that the relevant parties are involved in a group decision. Make sure that the right contributors are involved. Only people who can contribute to an actual decision should be involved. People with knowledge and influence on the subject should also be involved.
4. Engage participants early
Set the tone from the start, get people engaged early on in the process, the earlier people are involved, the more they will contribute positively and feel like a part of the discussion.
5. Research the topic... but act stupid
Moderators need to be the most prepared participant. Moderators need to be up do date on the latest company and business issues, and have the ability to stir things up. However, it is also important that the moderator makes sure that other members communicate their thoughts effectively, and the best way to do that is to act dumb! Ask members to elaborate or be clearer on their feedback or ideas. This ensures clear communication.
6. Keep on track
When moderating group decisions, one of the important things to do in a collaborative, group decision, is to keep things on track.
Discussion can easily get side-tracked and off topic. It’s the moderators job, to get the discussion back on track an on focus.
7. Let members communicate with others
A moderator’s job is to moderate the group discussion, not be the authoritative boss of it. Group members need to be allowed to respond to each other’s ideas and interact with each other.
8. Remain neutral
One of the main attributes of a good moderator is their neutrality (like Switzerland). Moderators need to explore all sides of a discussion and get the most out of the people involved. Being neutral will give people the confidence to share and respond more.. leading to better decision input.
9. Diffuse any potentially awkward situations
One way a group decision can easily get side-tracked, is if people involved contribute in a non-effective manner. Having a go at another team member or saying something unpleasant. These situations need to be diffused immediately! If they continue, it will have a negative affect on the outcome.
Alternatively, if you'd like to watch a video on this blog post, there's one below: