This guide explores the concept of facilitation and how it can help in creating successful and positive meetings. It is primarily aimed at groups using consensus decision making, a process that involves all members of the group in reaching an agreement that is acceptable to everyone.
Facilitation is about helping the group to have an efficient and inclusive meeting. It combines a series of roles and tasks.
The eight key skills and qualities of a good facilitator.
Instead of just one facilitator you may have two or more co-facilitators. You can share out more facilitation tasks amongst the group and make the job of facilitating easier and less intimidating.
This section gives an overview of the tasks a facilitator may need to undertake in a meeting.
The key to helping a group towards consensus is to help all members of the group express their needs and viewpoints clearly, map out common ground and find solutions to any areas of disagreement.
Examples of disruptive behaviour include dominating individuals who talk at the expense of others, or the cynic that shoots down every idea that’s raised in the meeting.
Dealing with blocks in the process of the meetings, for example when the group simply can’t seem to reach a decision or lacks focus during the meeting.
Large group meetings pose particular challenges for facilitators. Any more than 12 people can exhibit all the characteristics of a big group – it doesn’t have to be hundreds of participants.