What Does a Facilitator Do?

This is Part 2 a short series on facilitation and its uses in organizations. Part 1 describes the nature of facilitation here.

A facilitator is not a part of the decision-making group. He or she is also not the group leader, teacher or trainer. So what is the facilitator’s job?

In a nutshell, the facilitator guides the group through a decision-making process.

From start to finish, the facilitator is responsible for:

  1. Preparing for the session.
  2. Setting the agenda.
  3. Formulating questions for discussion.
  4. Keeping the conversation on track. This includes bringing to the forefront any side conversations, defusing any destructive conflict, and encouraging any constructive conflict.
  5. Taking notes throughout the session.
  6. Bringing the group to a conclusion and/or a resolution to the problem at hand.
  7. Summarizing the session after it is complete and distributing the summary to all participants.

4 thoughts on “What Does a Facilitator Do?”

  1. Hi Maria,

    I love this post! I recently wrote about a similar topic, how facilitators are different from focus group moderators. I’m definitely going to use your information as a reference point the next time I facilitate a group discussion.

    Thanks for sharing,

  2. I’m so glad you found this post helpful, Ann. If you have other questions or suggestions about expanding on this topic, please let me know.

  3. I’d love to hear a couple stories or examples of when you’ve facilitated a particularly great (or awful!) discussion. Facilitation is an art that gets better and better over time, and it would be encouraging to hear how you’ve improved your craft over time.

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