The word “facilitate” means to make easy or to bring about. A group facilitator’s role is to make a meeting easier for the participants and to help them reach their goals. Facilitators make the meeting easier by managing the methods and processes of the meeting itself. They set guidelines, ask questions, and provide structure. In contrast to the meeting’s participants, facilitators focus on how the decisions are made, instead of which decision is reached.
The Benefits of Hiring a Facilitator
A facilitator frees everyone else, including the team leader, to be active in the discussion process. Having a facilitator involved increases brainstorming and reduces miscommunication.
A trained and experienced facilitator brings skills and strategies to do the following:
- To provide structure to the group process, including beginning and ending the meeting on time, establishing guidelines for participation, and keeping the group on task while also being flexible enough to change focus if the team deems it necessary.
- To foster inclusivity by reducing power plays, increasing active listening, and helping all participants share their thoughts and opinions.
- To increase brainstorming through targeted activities.
- To clarify, summarize, and synthesize ideas.
- To bring closure and drive the discussion to an end result or action plan.
Types of Facilitated Activities
You may wish to hire a facilitator to help you with any of the following activities:
- Team Meetings
- Consensus Workshops
- Focus Groups
- Focused Conversations
- Action Planning
- Team Building
- Journey Mapping
- Group Retreats
- Off-site Planning or Brainstorming
What is the Process?
- Submit a request for facilitation. This form asks for a few basic pieces of information so we can begin our discussion.
- Pre-session planning meetings. In order to meet your needs and determine if I am a good fit for your project, we will likely schedule at least one pre-session planning meeting. At these meetings, we will identify goals, map the project, set a schedule, and discuss fees.
- Hold the event.
- Deliver feedback. Following the meeting, I will provide any agreed-upon feedback, notes, or report.