What is facilitation?

Facilitation, General Information / Monday, August 6th, 2018

There are lots of definitions of facilitation (https://cc.com.au/what-facilitation)

My favorite one is:

“Facilitation is a process in which the parties (usually a group), with the assistance of a neutral third party (the facilitator), identify problems to be solved, tasks to be accomplished or disputed issues to be resolved. Facilitation may conclude there, or it may continue to assist the parties to develop options, consider alternatives and endeavour to reach an agreement. The facilitator has no advisory or determinative role on the content of the matters discussed or the outcome of the process, but may advise on or determine the process of facilitation.”

You could compare a facilitator to a mountain guide who helps a group reach a summit. The summit is chosen by the group, the facilitator’s role is to propose roads to reach the top in a safe and efficient way. He/she makes sure that the path is adapted to each participant but without jeopardizing the ultimate objective of the whole group.  The guide ensures that the journey is well organized, has clear steps and that it builds on the collective intelligence of the group so that new pathways can even emerge from the group itself. Empathy, respect, positive energy, neutral leardership are at the (he)art of facilitation or hosting.

I enjoy facilitation also because every time is a new adventure for me where I will have the challenge to understand what the organizers really want, who are the participants and what expectations they will have and then create often “tailored” meeting design to respond to these needs and propose the most adapted journey to reach the goal.



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