The Report: How Does a Facilitation End?

This is Part 5 of a short series on facilitation and its uses in organizations. To read the entire series from the beginning, start at the bottom of the Facilitation page of this site.

After the meeting is over, you’ve walked off the donuts, and everyone has gone home, a facilitator’s job is not done. He or she is usually responsible for creating a written summary of the meeting. This summary should include:

  1. The initial research to prepare for the meeting
  2. A description of the meeting including date, time, location and participants
  3. The agenda
  4. Major points of discussion, any controversies, and any decisions the group reached
  5. Issues that were tabled for later discussion, with a description of the agreement on follow up
  6. Next steps

If the facilitator is involved in the larger work of the group, he or she may also include recommendations for action or further exploration and study. Ideally, the summary document should be descriptive enough so that every participant can understand their agreements and commitments and the organization can continue to move forward in its work.

3 thoughts on “The Report: How Does a Facilitation End?”

  1. What would be a good rule of thumb for getting these notes back to participants?

  2. The previous comment was related to the time frame/turn around time for getting summary notes back to meeting participants. Should time be allowed for participant edits?

  3. Good questions, Karen. I don’t know that there is a general rule, but I try to return a summary to a client within a week at the very most. If it’s a shorter session, I might try for 48 hours. Quick turn around leads to better recall for most of us!

    There is definitely a place for clients to make corrections or supplement key events. If it’s a large project, the final report may go through a couple of revisions.

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