Why do we need facilitation anyway?

The simple answer is that most of the time you don’t.

Ongoing day-to-day meetings and impromptu gatherings work well enough, don’t they?

However some of these meetings seem like a waste of time, you never quite get to the bottom of things, or just go over the same old ground and things seem as stuck as ever.

Why might this be?-  A few things to consider:

  • People who work together  develop a shared culture almost without realising, this can inhibit good debate and also inhibit people from crystallising the results of meetings into actions
  • It is difficult to challenge the status quo when you have to continue working with colleagues in the future
  • People don’t like asking the simple, obvious questions for fear of losing face in front of colleagues
  • People can get frustrated, bored or just cynical after several rounds of this experience and end up “playing the game” by giving the impression of being involved but without the inner inspiration and motivation to actually do something

External Facilitation can help here , bringing a fresh approach:

  • Facilitators are independent and not burdened with the cultural baggage that evolves within groups that regularly work together
  • Good facilitators do have their preconceptions and expectations but have the ability to put these aside and create fresh improvements
  • Facilitators have the ability to listen to what is said and not said and reflect this back to the room
  • Challenge assumptions to inject fresh thinking
  • Ensure all voices are heard
  • Capture the outputs and present the fresh thinking back to the group

Good facilitation results in a well-rounded debate, liberating the ideas within the group in such a way that the group members feel ownership for the outcomes.


4 thoughts on “Why do we need facilitation anyway?

  1. Pingback: Facilitation? Why bother? | rhizome: participation|activism|consensus

  2. Hi Dwight, Thanks for dropping by, I’ve restored the spelling to perfection thanks.

    I’m glad you liked the post, I checked out your post too and can recommend it to others.


  3. Pingback: It Doesn’t Happen Without You…. « On Facilitation ….

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