Leadership through Systemic Moderation: 7 tips for meeting preparation


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Do you know that? They come to the office in the morning and immediately feel that the air is thick. What to do? Use the moderation check to find out how you can tackle the group at the beginning and how you can react flexibly to unexpected situations.

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Michaela Stach Best of HR – Berufebilder.de®Michaela Stach is a moderation expert.

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To moderate a group: journey into the unknown

No one likes to embark on a journey into the unknown: that is why one of the most important recommendations of the systemic moderation is to carefully examine the moderation order in advance.

Especially when you want to moderate a meeting. Only those who are fully aware of the framework parameters can decide in an agile and flexible manner which approach is the right one for the situation.

Check moderation order, discover group

Unlike the typical frontal sonication, in which the lecturer focuses on his expert knowledge, the first view in systemic moderation always applies to the group. It should be clear which personalities participate in the group discussion and which company levels are represented.

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Also get a first impression of the mood in the team. The question: “Is the group (already) ready for a constructive moderation?” you should ask yourself in advance of the moderation. If not, good advice is expensive.

7 tips for systemic meeting preparation

How exactly can you solve such problems with systemic moderation? 7 tips at a glance.

1. Aggressive level - the golden mean decides

You enter the room and feel the tension, the displeasure and the burden of the group participants on their own body? Do not worry, the recording of the mood is enormously important - it is important to channel them, because the level of aggression within the group is a picture of the willingness to find a constructive solution.

If the level of aggressiveness is too high and literally flies the pieces, the previously elaborated plan must be thrown over anyway. Before the minds have calmed down, you can not expect any productive results.

But not only too much energy can stand in the way of effective facilitation. If there is too little power, the moderation is much calmer, but certainly not more successful. Without passion and participation of the participants, the workshop will ensure one thing above all else: yawning boredom.

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The truth lies, as so often, in the golden center: the ideal state is an average measure of friction and action energy. Here, the participants are attentive to the cause and mobilize their energy to reach a solution together. Of course, here too is not always everything sunshine - but there is a consensual basis, which also well tolerates differences of opinion.

A common basis means:
  • The participants have a reference to the topic.
  • The result usually has a direct effect on the participants.
  • The participants are aware of this effect.
  • The fronts among the participants are not hardened, although they sometimes differ.

2. Let steam out of the kettle

In most cases, it is important to work out this common ground first. If the level of aggression is too high, a cleansing thunderstorm is often necessary to drain the steam in the boiler.

It is quite desirable that the participants express their displeasure within the framework of the moderation - but constructively! If this steam exhaust works on an estimating level, this is the first step of a joint solution. If this path is not successful and the situation escalates, the moderator should not be afraid to cancel the meeting or the workshop prematurely.

3. Revive the spirits

Lethargy, passivity or participants like on Valium are just as poison for a productive meeting as a charged atmosphere. If the participants surrender to their fate and feel that “they can't do anything anyway”, it will be difficult to make a difference. This calls for a clever systemic moderator who brings those present back from the valley of resignation back to life.

This requires a portion of extra energy - the steam must literally go back into the boiler! It is important to put the finger deliberately into the wound. Be careful! A cautious approach is called for: firstly, to reproduce one's own perception and to characterize it as such. The art is to make the participants, through clever questions, to reflect the situation with its own chances and risks.

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4. Breather for mental recovery

Allow your participants to deliberately take breaks to regenerate - reflection costs energy! Once the aggression reduction or energy structure has been established, let the group arrive mentally on a constructive work plane before you take the next step.

Breaks also serve the physical well-being: nothing depresses the mood more than growling stomachs or bad food. Incidentally, there is a world beyond the well-known “meeting cookies”. Be creative. A little fresh fruit or seasonal pastries lifts the mood and not insignificantly contributes to the fact that after strengthening it continues with new vigor.

Deliberate interruptions, pauses, and symbolic gestures help to underline the transition to a new phase. After the steam has been released within the group, you can open the windows to symbolize: the criticism voiced was important to go a step further but now she can safely get out of the window. The new fresh air, on the other hand, symbolizes the opportunity for new approaches and goals.

5. Avoid alibi events

Moderations offer many opportunities and a great risk - the demotivation of the participants. Each participant invests a lot of time, brain power and passion in the event. Hence, she only does Sense, if the organizer has an honest interest in the results and is also willing to continue working with this output.

If moderations are used as “alibi events”, the frustration of the participants is assured. Rightly so - what else is there to be discussed or worked out if the result has already been unofficially determined and the participants should only be given the feeling of having been involved? Here the moderator has to check in advance whether real results are desired or whether the event is mere waste.

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In order to avoid alibi events, the moderator will ask the following questions:
  • How much openness is really desired?
  • What happens after that with the results?
  • Shall they be borne into the future?
  • If the moderation is about visionary approaches, is it planned to break it down to a feasible level, or is it about the pure collection of ideas? (The respective approach is then also to be named.)

6. Expectations

It is decisive for the presenter which framework conditions the client communicates and what results are expected from the participants. A detailed briefing should prevent the client from being dissatisfied and the participants are frustrated afterwards.

It is necessary to clarify whether only such results are expected from the organizer, which can also be implemented directly by the participants. An example of this is a workshop in a doctor's office in which only consultation hours are given to help develop solutions for better customer service. The cracking point: Should participants only find solutions in their own area of ​​customer communication, or should they think beyond their own horizons as a consulting service at strategic enterprise level. For example in the field of alternative services or innovative technical equipment.

7. No moderation without goal

Would you watch a football game in the stadium if you knew from the beginning how it turns out? No of course not! It is the same with moderation - it only makes sense if it is open to results. If the moderator already knows in advance what should come out at the end of a moderation, then it is also an alibimoderation.

Every moderation needs a clearly formulated goal: for example, the improvement of communication within the team. The goal is, so to speak, the vessel filled with content - the result worked out by the group.

Conclusion: Blitz-Check systemic moderation

You now know how to prepare for a moderation and how to master the first contact with the group. Finally, the Blitz-Check helps you keep an eye on the status of the group at all times.

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  • Is the group ready for a constructive moderation?
  • Is the topic predestined for the group or is it about an individual?
  • What is the purpose of the meeting?
  • Can the results be directly implemented by the participants?
  • Given the framework conditions, is there an implementation opportunity?

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