The West Virginia. Center for Civic Life is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that helps engage our citizens in community discussions of important public issues that affect our state and nation.
For most of us, it’s a new experience to sit down with others in our community, as citizens, to talk about complex community problems. These discussions are usually much more productive when led by a neutral moderator (facilitator) who helps participants maintain an atmosphere for productive conversation. The moderator asks questions that probe deeply into the issue at hand and helps participants consider possible actions and next steps.
While the skills of being a moderator are not hard to grasp, it takes conscious effort for most of us to deliberately step out of the role of participant and into the role of facilitator. Many people find it useful to explore and practice the skills of being a moderator before they step up to that role in public.