Further to my post on the nomination page, I'd just add that my "moderation style" will be that of a teacher rather than a disciplinarian.
Moderators do have a difficult task given them — keep a site that is open to community-created content clean and in-line with the site's purpose; at the same time being civil, courteous and helpful.
Even users who have posted several questions and have significant reputation may end up posting questions that don't seem in line with established rules or guidelines.
- This doesn't mean that those users wish to fill up the site with junk
- It doesn't necessarily mean that they aren't aware of the guidelines
- It doesn't even necessarily mean that they don't understand the guidelines.
They may just have a different view of them (I've been there myself). I believe this can be a learning experience for all involved. The question may be in fact in a gray area. Maybe situation doesn't fall neatly into any category of guidance. Very likely, there is a good question in there that just isn't worded in the most productive way.
The tools that moderators and even members have should be used very carefully. An experience I had just a few days ago illustrated this to me. I was closely watching a question that was interesting. A new answer was posted that I very much disagreed with. It was well written and a valid opinion, but to me, personally, it was philosophically wrong. So, I downvoted the question. However, I appreciated the perspective it added to the answers, because I felt like it brought up an angle that had not been addressed.
A few minutes later, I realized it had been deleted. The user had obviously thought that by getting a downvote so quickly, it was better off to just get rid of it.
I regretted having downvoted so quickly and wished I had let more members of the community read that opinion and see what they thought. I didn't consider the impact my downvote would have to the poster, and I think that I should have commented prior to downvoting so early.
I take this same view with the close-vote and the tools a moderator has. They are not just a mop and a broom (what Wikipedia administrators refer to their tools as). Here, I believe, we have a great responsibility to teach — ask questions first and early, give suggestions, help, etc., and clean up (vote to close/delete) if needed.
To address Pierre's point about being "firm" - I absolutely understand that no matter how nice or helpful a moderator has been, it doesn't mean that conflict will never arise. When it does, I don't believe a moderator is out of line to act authoritatively — I would simply be careful to make sure that I have exhausted my ability to be helpful prior to taking any action that could be viewed as unilateral.
In the end, I would simply be asking of my actions "is what I'm doing helping the community reach the potential it has?"