Meeting Facilitation

How It Helps Groups

What is facilitation?  It is a way of providing leadership without taking the substantive reins of a meeting or decision process.  A facilitator’s job is to enable others to assume responsibility and take the lead.  The facilitator role includes:
  • Helping a group define its overall goal and specific objectives
  • Helping members of the group asses their needs and create plans to meet them
  • Providing processes that help members use their time efficiently to make high-quality decisions
  • Guiding group discussion to keep it on track
  • Making accurate notes that reflect the ideas of members
  • Helping the group understand its own processes in order to work more efficiently
  • Making sure that assumptions are brought to the surface and tested
  • Using consensus as the primary method for making group decisions, taking all members’ opinions into account
  • Providing feedback to group members so that they can assess their progress and make adjustments
  • Managing conflict using a collaborative approach
  • Helping the group communicate effectively
  • Creating an environment in which members have a positive, growing experience while working to attain group goals
  • Fostering leadership in others by sharing the responsibility for leading the group
  • Teaching and empowering others to facilitate
The facilitator uses core practices to ensure an effective process by staying neutral on content, listening actively, asking questions, paraphrasing clearly, synthesizing ideas,  staying on track, giving and receiving feedback, testing assumptions, collecting ideas, and  summarizing clearly. Text adapted from Ingrid  Bens’ Facilitation At a Glance, 2nd edition (2008). A GOAL-QPC publication.

Evelyn H. deFrees
E. deFrees Consulting | 207-462-0815