A facilitator is ...
... a meeting manager who is skilled at helping groups achieve more when they meet. Facilitators know exactly how to eliminate wasted time and energy in meetings. Facilitators are uniquely trained to focus discussions so get things done.
A facilitator is NOT ...
- an expert in the meeting topic,
- the person who calls the meeting,
- a master of ceremonies,
- a moderator,
- a trainer,
- the presenter,
- an arbitrator,
- an event or conference planner.
A facilitator is an expert in meeting processes, human dynamics, and group work technologies (i.e. decision making, problem solving, consensus building, process improvement, etc.).
What does a facilitator do?
A facilitator plans, manages, and packages meetings.
Plans. A facilitator plans how the meeting will flow to guarantee each objective gets accomplished. A facilitator plans what discussion & decision technologies will optimize participation. A facilitator anticipates dysfunction and plans interaction technologies to mitigate it. A facilitator anticipates where groups might get stuck plans ways around or through. A facilitator provides the group’s leader with a sense of calm and confidence.
Manages. A facilitator manages the meeting so the group’s leader can participate without driving. The facilitator manages discussions by asking strategic questions. The facilitator manages participation by engaging the right participants at the right time. The facilitator manages conflict by breaking it down to build up understanding and collaboration. A facilitator manages decisions by synthesizing all views into consensus. A facilitator manages energy to so people remain productive. A facilitator manages the clock to deliver results on time.
Packages. A facilitator packages group memory so back-tracking is avoided. A facilitator packages decisions so everyone is clear. A facilitator packages next steps and responsibilities so things get done between meetings. A facilitator packages the deliverables into a final product for the group’s leader to run with.