Category Archives: Facilitator

What does a Facilitator do?

When you have decided it makes sense to have someone facilitate your meeting, what does a facilitator do?  Specifically?

A facilitator’s major concerns are to:

  • Influence the way the meeting runs rather than contribute to the topic(s) under discussion.
  • Help the group identify and follow ground rules.
  • Help participants stay involved while balancing and supporting discussion so one point of view does not dominate.
  • Encourage full and free participation by everyone.
  • Have process ideas and exercises ready to use when the situation calls for one.
  • Protect people, ideas, and the purpose of the meeting.
  • Track the discussion (on an easel pad or notepad).
  • Keep the discussion focused and on-track.
  • Create an upbeat, enthusiastic mood and team.

A good meeting facilitator will harness the energy in the meeting and set it to work on the given task.  So, when asked “what does a facilitator do?”, you may now answer with specifics!


Do You Need A Meeting Facilitator?

What is a Meeting Facilitator and do I need one?

I have seen the term “facilitator” used in a variety of ways.  Sometimes it is used to mean a trainer.  Other times it means the same as moderator.  What is your definition?

My definition is a blend of many others I have seen through the years plus my own emphasis.  Here it is:

A facilitator is someone who contributes structure and process to meetings so groups and individuals are able to function effectively, think productively, and make high-quality decisions.

Do You Need a Meeting Facilitator?

Facilitation is a skill that focuses on upgrading the process of meetings in order to improve the quality of the meeting results. A trained and experienced facilitator understands meeting dynamics and brings to bear techniques to ensure the client gets the desired outcome. She or he is responsible for harnessing the group’s energy and setting it to work on a given task.

Management of organizations is not easy in an era characterized by constant change and an unpredictable political and economic environment. A professional facilitator can help a team or organization move forward productively, whether on a single topic or a strategic plan. Typical instances where a facilitator can make a big difference include:

  • If you are scheduling a strategic planning “retreat” to decide where your
    company, organization or department is going over the next three to five years
  • Having a neutral or unbiased meeting guide would enhance the discussion
  • If you want innovative thinking on a recurring task
  • If critical meetings go on and on without a decision
  • When you have lots of ideas but can’t get them to solution stage

A professional facilitator can help a team or organization address and manage challenges creatively and productively.