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!


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