What is facilitation? It is a process in which a neutral person, with no decision-making authority, works with a group to help it improve its problem identification, problem-solving and decision-making. The facilitator’s main task is to help the group increase its effectiveness. This is done with a variety of techniques which may include formal processes (such as strategic planning or various teambuilding processes) as well as more informal facilitation of the group’s conversations.
When is facilitation useful? Many groups find it useful to have a facilitator when they are making major decisions, conducting planning processes, dealing with conflict in the group, or addressing especially complex issues.
Who uses facilitators? Facilitators are used by all kinds of businesses and organizations, for both small and large groups, on a one-time and ongoing basis, to help the group accomplish its task. Facilitators may do their work in meetings, retreats, conferences and at other gatherings.
Why use an outside facilitator? Outside facilitators are most often used when the group’s leader wants to participate in the work of the group, rather than being burdened with maintaining the process. the task or topic for the group is controversial, and a neutral outsider is needed to help group members find common ground (this may also involve some aspects of mediation). there are strong feelings or animosities among group members, and a neutral outsider is needed to help maintain civility and guide the group toward a constructive outcome. the group has a history of getting off track, and needs someone to keep the process going forward and the conversation moving toward the goal. the group’s task is very large or complex, such as a strategic planning process.
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We offer group facilitation services to business, government and not-for-profit organizations, on both a one-time and ongoing basis, thus helping participants work through sometimes complex and emotional issues, and helping groups effectively accomplish their tasks.