Facilitation

WHAT IS FACILITATION?

Facilitation is a method of helping meetings run smoother and be more productive with the assistance of a neutral third party, the facilitator. During a facilitated meeting, the facilitator provides guidance on the process, while the group members are responsible for the meeting content and any decision-making. Facilitation helps to foster a cooperative environment so that the meeting can run smoothly, allowing the group to fulfill its purpose and reach its goals.

WHO IS THE FACILITATOR?

The facilitator is the “process” person. This means that the person will not contribute towards the content of the meeting, but instead, will help design a process that will enable the participants to accomplish the identified purpose and outcomes desired by the participants.

WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBLITIES OF A FACILITATOR?

Prior to the meeting, the facilitator works with the key participants to:

  • Identify the purpose and outcomes of the meeting
  • Plan an Agenda for the meeting
  • Coordinate the logistics and set-up the meeting room

During the meeting, the facilitator:

  • Ensures that everyone has an opportunity to participate
  • Manages challenging behavior that is disruptive to the meeting
  • Keeps the group focused on the Agenda issues and the discussion on point
  • Starts and ends the meeting on time
  • Records the thoughts and ideas of the group

Following the meeting, the facilitator:

  • Compiles the meeting notes
  • Provides the compiled notes to the coordinator for distribution to all meeting participants

HOW DO I FIND A FACILITATOR FOR MY NEXT MEETING?

If past meetings have a history of going too long, accomplishing little and/or causing tempers to flare, then consider using a facilitator for your next meeting.

Contact the Center at 521-6767, at least two weeks before the scheduled meeting. It is important to call in advance to make sure the facilitator has adequate time to become familiar with the group’s issues, speak with key participants and plan a process that will work best to meet the needs of the group.