A facilitation is held for three or more people. They may be a team in conflict or a group brought together for a project who are having problems communicating. Understanding what will happen in a facilitation assists the participants to get the most from the session.

Here is an overview of what you can expect

Facilitation process at a glance

Here are some key points about preparing for the facilitation process:

  • allow 4 hours for a session
  • some groups may require more than 1 session
  • the facilitator gains an understanding of the issues each person will bring to the table and sets an agenda for the group
  • participants may be asked to share their concerns in front of the group
  • participants (and not the facilitator) make all decisions
  • pen and paper is provided for all
  • there may be a break of up to 15-20 minutes.


Role of the facilitator

The facilitator plays a key role in managing the process. They will:

  • confidentially speak with each participant 1-1, before the session
  • guide participants through the process so they don’t have to remember all of the steps
  • encourage participants to stay focused on the agenda
  • type the agreement and provide each participant with a copy
  • destroy all of their own notes after the session (with the exception of the agreement document)
  • keep an e-copy of the agreement in case participants require another copy
  • make decisions related to the process only; participants (and not the facilitator) make all decisions about the outcomes.


Role of the participants

For the participants in a facilitation to gain the most from the session, here are some things to consider ahead of time:

  • come with the intent of wanting to talk about and resolve the issues
  • demonstrate respect to all
  • listen while others are speaking
  • be specific when sharing your thoughts, instead of saying – “You’re always late!”, be specific and identify dates and times
  • what would the worst possible outcome be, for each person attending
  • what would the best possible outcome be, for each person attending
  • think about ways the issues could be resolved; out-of-the box ideas are welcome
  • be flexible with outcomes you would like from the session because once you’ve heard everything from the others in the room , you may want to adjust your outcomes and that’s okay
  • if no agreement is reached, what do you believe your next step is
  • participants (and not the facilitator) make all decisions about the outcomes.