Have you ever tried to guide your colleagues toward a consensus? If so, then you probably understand the value of a meeting facilitator. Worldwide, facilitation is a profitable industry, and these facilitators help groups hold productive meetings. More often than not, groups needing a facilitator share a common business interest, and have divided opinions, or a lack of knowledge, about how to further those interests. A facilitator helps them analyze their opinions, or gaps in knowledge, and reach their own conclusions—a goal that depends on the facilitator’s neutral approach. Unlike consultants, facilitators do not supply businesses with direct solutions.

Choosing a Meeting Facilitator

The term meeting facilitator could refer to several types of facilitators. In many cases, businesses need a facilitator who specializes in one or more of the following areas:

Strategic planning

Strategic planning facilitators help businesses clarify the best way to reach their goals, especially during a period of organizational change. Often, the key to developing a strategic plan is to overcome organizational conflicts that have divided the group into factions. When this is the case, conflict resolution should precede strategic planning.

Issue resolution

Issue resolution facilitators are used for one of two reasons: to help a group achieve a productive dialogue that leads to a resolution, or to help a group resolve lingering feelings of conflict after a resolution has been reached. In some instances, conflict resolution facilitators are used in situations that could lead to arbitration if the conflict stays unresolved.

Hiring a Facilitator

After identifying the type of meeting facilitation they need, businesses select a facilitator based on numerous factors, including: industry recognition, facilitation experience, executive experience, and personality type. If you are not sure which type of facilitator to choose, FindaFacilitator can analyze your goals and recommend a facilitator who will help you meet your objectives. With access to over 500 facilitators located at home and abroad, our ability to supply facilitation services is unparalleled.

Facilitators can be hired directly or through a facilitation company. Many businesses prefer the latter because the firm evaluates facilitators, offers an array of facilitators at a variety of fee levels, classifies facilitators by specialty, and serves as a liaison between businesses and facilitators regarding administrative issues. Facilitation companies also serve as consultants to businesses that need advice on prioritizing different types of facilitation.