Moderation techniques in meeting management
Moderation is unconventionally regarded as a means of conducting meetings or group activities in a non-controlling manner. It aims at making use of group knowledge by involving group members in the decision-making process and by focusing them on the purpose of the meeting. Moderation requires a specific basic attitude of the moderator and certain techniques. The present paper aims at analyzing the role of the chair in workplace meetings from a different perspective, namely that of a moderator. Moderation techniques are strategic tools used by the chairperson to reach the objectives of the meeting in a very efficient manner, which takes into consideration both power and politeness (Holmes and Stubbe 2003). In this study, I approach the different communicative roles adopted by the chairs in professional meetings, with an emphasis on the strategies associated with the role of the moderator, in contrast with that of an authoritative controller. The variation of roles and the strategic choices made by the speakers account for the complexities of workplace context.