What is a Better Angels Moderator?
Better Angels moderators lead the red/blue and skills workshops in their communities. They work with workshop organizers and sponsoring institutions, and they may be invited to give presentations about Better Angels in their communities.
Listen below to lead workshop designer Bill Doherty’s overview of what a Better Angels moderator does, our workshops, and the qualifications for a moderator:
What are the Qualifications for Becoming a Moderator?
There are two qualifications for being a Better Angels Moderator:
Group facilitation experience. This means that you are comfortable with group process, and that you are able to create a supportive environment while also enforcing ground rules and upholding the structure of the workshop.
It’s not enough if your working with groups is as a manager of work teams. In Workshops, you have no authority over the people that attend and you can’t “manage” them.
Work as a therapist is also not sufficient. The skills in a client relationship with an individual, a couple or a family are not the same as group facilitation experience. Some therapists have experience in group therapy, which may qualify.
Emotional readiness for this work. This work is about de-polarization, and that can be very emotional. We need people who have respect for the other side, and who won’t respond to getting their buttons pushed by someone of a different political persuasion.
In the moderator role, you must be neutral and you have to create a space where everyone feels respected, where everyone in the room says that the moderator wasn’t emotionally reactive to either side or wasn’t trying to “correct” either side. You cannot see the other side as deplorable or ignorant or deserving of pity. You would have trouble doing this work if your goal is to “enlighten” the other side.
In short, you cannot be emotionally triggered by people who have political views that are very different from your own.
How do I become a Better Angels Moderator?
There are four steps to becoming a Better Angels moderator:
- Fill out the application form. In the application form, speak to your group facilitation experience and provide a short resume that speaks to that experience. Don’t give us your standard resume or CV.
- Once you’re accepted, you’ll become a moderator in training. You’ll need to view approximately 12 hours of videos and read various materials, including manuals for both Red/Blue Workshops and Skills Workshops.
- Once you’re done, you affirm that you’ve gone through all of the materials and affirm that you’re comfortable with the emotional readiness aspect of the work.
- You’ll then have a short video call with one of our existing moderators to confirm your readiness and to answer any of your questions.
There is no charge for the training. We also expect people to do the workshop without charging.
Once you’re accepted, you’ll become a part of the Better Angels moderator community. This is a very supportive and interactive community who have regular calls and a private forum for moderators.
Many moderators report that the experience of being a moderator has been transformative and among the most rewarding experiences of their professional life.
Please note: only Better Angels members can apply as a moderator. You can join here.