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!