The acceptance of the workshop results by all participants makes a moderation successful. Especially steering the emotional process is enormously important. 

Josef W. Seifert (1890–1969)
German Management Trainer 

The model of a Moderation Cycle envisages six work phases, which build on each other. The German pedagogue Josef W. Seifert developed this framework at the end of the 1980s. It is useful in planning your session as well as guiding you through the transitions from one phase to another.

  • Introduction: let the participants arrive and orientate. This is the time to define objectives. The group should get ready for work.
  • Collection: all topics should be assembled. Cards or also a World Café could do this in order to get an overview of the whole spectrum of topics.
  • Selection: prioritisation of topics. What should be worked upon? How could success be achieved quickest? Everybody should be involved in this process.
  • Process: this is the core of the whole work process. The topics agreed upon are worked out. Working groups and Open Space are useful ways of doing this.
  • Planning: though the work results are presented here, the focus lies on further planning. What should be done with the results in the future?
  • Closure: judgement, reflexivity on the whole process and of course bringing the session to a close — ‘Adjourning’ — are the elements of the last phase.

The Moderation Cycle shoud not be mixed up with the 5 Stages of the group process. The group process describes the dynamics in every group – everywhere. The Moderation Cycle highlights the steps of a moderation only – regardless of the stage of a group.

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