The Key Roles Of A Meeting Facilitator

In this article we are going to highlight the key tasks that a facilitator must complete in any meeting, in order to a guarantee success session.

Plan the agenda

This is perhaps the most important task in order to achieve a successful outcome in the allotted timeframe. It gives your meeting structure and could prevent participants going off on tangents. Be cautious not to try to achieve to much or cover too many points – you could be setting yourself up for failure. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the time throughout the session too.

Keep the meeting focused

Ensure participants remain focussed on one point at a time and sensitively discourage deviating from said point, even if the participant seems expressive about it. Facilitators need to be able to smoothly and subtly guide the meeting in the most constructive and efficient way possible.

Encourage participation from all members

This task is extremely important, and includes minimising overactive members’ input. If you can sense there are members of the group who don’t like speaking out, maybe include an exercise where everyone writes their ideas on the board or on a piece of paper. This way enables you to draw out quiet participants and ensures all voices are accounted for.

Help the group deal with conflicting views

The likelihood of conflicts arising is pretty high, as not everyone will have exactly the same ideas or opinions. Facilitators need to make sure that aggressive and hostile comments are dealt with immediately and that they introduce a way to tackle these disagreements in a calm and respectful way.

Clarify decisions and test for agreement

Before the end of the meeting the facilitator needs to summarise the points discussed, clarify that everyone understands the points covered and test for agreement on the decisions made. It’s very important this is implemented, as otherwise everyone’s time may have been wasted, as there is no clear action to take following the end of the meeting.

To conclude, these are the main tasks that a facilitator must complete during a meeting or training session. Of course, there are other important tasks, but these are imperative to the meeting’s success.