In organizational development (OD) and Consensus decision-making, facilitation refers to the process of designing and running a successful meeting.
Facilitation concerns itself with all the tasks needed to run a productive and impartial meeting. Facilitation serves the needs of the group in its decision making. It does not lead the group nor does it try to distract or entertain.
Aspects of Facilitation
The role of the Facilitator
See the facilitator article for details of exactly how facilitator would run a meeting.
The facilitator takes on the task of researching the meeting before it happens. Finds out what is the purpose and goal of the meeting (if any). Establishes who needs to be there. Draws up a draft agenda and shares this with the potential attendees, changing it as necessary. They ensure everyone is fully briefed for the meeting, knows why it is being held and what is at stake.
They then run the meeting, taking care that it stays on the agreed agenda and keeping an eye on the allocated time. They ensure agreements are recorded with an agreed phraseology. They may also note unresolved issues for later debate. The facilitator may write up and publish the results of the meeting to everyone concerned including those who could not attend.
Principles of Facilitation
- The International Association of Facilitators: http://www.iaf-world.org/
- The Group Facilitation Listserver: http://www.albany.edu/cpr/gf/
- The Master Facilitator Journal: http://www.masterfacilitatorjournal.com/home.html
- Sandy Schuman (Editor). The IAF Handbook of Group Facilitation: Best Practices from the Leading Organization in Facilitation. Jossey-Bass, 2005. ISBN: 0-7879-7160-X
- Roger Schwarz (Author); The Skilled Facilitator; Jossey-Bass ; ISBN 0-7879-4723-7 (New & Revised July 2002)
- Thomas Kayser; Mining Group Gold; McGraw Hill - 1995.