In a recent interview I did on Forum One’s LIVE Interviews Online, Dave Witzel submitted the question, “Are moderators born or made? Do you do much training for moderation?”

Born… or made. I’d like to think they can be made through training and experience. At the same time, there are personality traits that are not ideal for someone in a leadership or managerial role. Some people simply prefer being a participant, rather than being someone given a responsibility for watching that participation. The same way that some people are happy with a normal 9-5 job, rather than being a manager or a supervisor. They are happy with their life as it is and there’s nothing wrong with that.

There are also people that don’t deal well with upseting people or having people be angry at them. That’s just not a trait that will work for a moderator. I don’t want to upset anyone. I don’t want anyone to be angry at me. But, I realize that what I want in that area doesn’t matter. Included in the responsibilities of managing a community is removing content and telling people they can’t do things. If you are the one that has to tell people no, you are also the one that people will direct their angst at, if they don’t like being limited. A staff member must be able to handle this and not get upset by it.

Training wise, my system was pretty well outlined in the SitePoint article I wrote recently

What do you think? Are moderators born or made?