AFFINITY employs projective, associative, as well as creative and ethnographic methods.

At the same time, we firmly believe that:

"A method is only as good as its moderator!"

Therefore, our main focus is on working with and being able to apply soft skills


Based on a scientific model, AFFINITY has grouped the most relevant soft skills into the following 6 areas of competence:

Implementation Skills – e.g. Moderating Skills

An AFFINITY Moderator must be able to:

  • Plan, conduct and evaluate moderating events and activities.
  • Lead and direct IDIs, discussion groups, creative workshops etc. to enhance empathy and creativity as well as a constructive and target-oriented flow.
  • Ensure that all respondents are given a chance to speak, and create an atmosphere that discourages any kind of verbal offence or insult, inappropriate comments or other destructive behaviour.
  • Employ models, methods and mental aspects that help to lead interviews and discussion groups with efficiency.

Social Skills – e.g. Empathy

An AFFINITY Moderator must be able to:

  • Understand and relate to the thoughts and feelings of respondents.
  • Pick up on and read body language (i.e. facial expressions, gestures, posture).
  • Tune into and interpret paraverbal signals (voice pitch, speed of speech, intonation, volume, breathing etc.).
  • Handle their own emotions and align them with those of their respondents in order to work together not against each other.

Personal Skills – e.g. Presentation Skills

An AFFINITY Moderator must be able to:

  • Impart information in a way that makes the target audience listen and understand.
  • Embody professional competence and expertise.
  • Present information in a format that is appropriate for the topic as well as the audience.

Communication Skills – e.g. Talent for Quick Repartee

An AFFINITY Moderator must be able to:

  • Remain unfazed and in control when they are verbally attacked or faced with hostile comments.
  • React with intelligence, eloquence and wit in a number of different interview situations.
  • Act with self-confidence and assurance.
  • Navigate out of situations in which they are being attacked or criticised by employing skillful counter techniques without launching a counter-attack.
  • Maintain their composure in awkward or embarrassing situations.

Leadership Skills – e.g. Motivation Skills

An AFFINITY Moderator must be able to:

  • Enthusiasm
  • Knowledge of human nature
  • Intuitive understanding
  • Self-awareness
  • Emotional skills – ability to understand, perceive and control feelings

Mental Skills – e.g. Systemic Thinking

An AFFINITY Moderator must be able to:

Think systemically, as somebody who is capable of looking at the overall system

  • Is less likely to overreact (i.e. take rash measures and correct these later)
  • Is rarely taken by surprise by the course of developments in a group discussion
  • Has a better understanding of the workings of a system (e.g. the system of the patient life world) and will therefore be able to take into consideration any influencers, interdependencies and long-term consequences