At make stuff happen our 10,000 hours of facilitation experience can help you make the most of your time and people. So why use a facilitator?
At key times you can exponentially increase the value of a meeting by bringing in an external facilitator who…
- has specialist experience and specific skills in designing and running meetings to achieve results
- is ‘neutral’ (no hidden agenda) which allows them to build consensus between different perspectives
- can pick up on emerging thinking or “weak signals” and ask the right questions
- will free up everyone to fully participate without having to manage the meeting process
More organisations are realising the value of having an external facilitator at milestone points:
- times of growth – looking forward, strategic planning
- times of evaluation – reflection and learning
- times of change and challenge – looking for fresh ideas
What do we do?
When you bring key people together and you want to make the most of their time and intelligence, a facilitator can help you cut to the chase.
A good facilitator will focus on the pre-meeting process of clarifying goals,planning and stakeholder engagement as well as taking care in the meeting to:
- encourage different voices and opinions without wasting time
- control the domination of a few voices
- reflect back observations and check out what is happening
- paraphrase for clarification
- keep the discussion on track
- summarise the discussion
- ask the dumb questions
- monitor the pace of the discussion, to keep everyone involved
- help a group to notice patterns of behaviour that support or hinder their interaction
- tackle difficult decisions and situations
- make assumptions explicit
- introduce new or creative approaches
- consider and create the right physical environment
The presence of the facilitator allows the participants to step out of their “business as usual” approach, it allows the chair and other specialists to fully participate and focus on the content rather the process of the meeting.
At milestone times, the facilitator can also design participative and creative approaches to trigger fresh ways of thinking with surprising results.