If you need the assistance of a strategic planning facilitator, you probably need it sooner rather than later. Before you hire a facilitator, be sure to consider how the qualities and credentials of the hired professional would affect the service you receive. Like the companies they assist, facilitators have a variety of characteristics, and finding one with the right characteristics can take time. As you weigh your options, observing the tips below will help you to find a facilitator who offers the qualities you need:

Choose a Person who has a Reputation for Being Professional

Facilitating a meeting can bring several challenges, such as dealing with argumentative or loquacious team members. Just as difficult team members can tempt their colleagues to fight fire with fire, they can tempt facilitators to do the same. Professional facilitators find ways to eliminate the behavior of troublemakers without potentially exacerbating it.

Choose a Person Who has the Right Skills

A facilitator should possess topnotch consulting skills in his or her area of expertise. Although a facilitator helps a group to reach its own solutions instead of supplying solutions as a traditional consultant would, consultation skills are still an important aspect of facilitation, especially for strategic planning facilitators.

A facilitator who lacks consulting experience in strategic planning can have difficultly facilitating effective strategies. Although the group arrives at the strategies, the facilitator must understand which strategies are valid and which ones are not.

Consider the Fee

For selection criteria, the fee of a facilitator should not hold more importance than his or her professional qualities, but you should consider the fee with of how often you would need facilitation. Choosing a facilitator whose fee is easily affordable has two advantages: you can use the person’s services as often as necessary, and, in doing so, you allow the person to gain unique insight into the needs and goals of your company.

Find Out if a Person Will Work With a Co-Facilitator

If you plan to have a co-facilitator work with the facilitator you hire, be sure to find out if the latter is willing to work with the former. Although the job of facilitators is to help a group reach a consensus, there have been several occasions where a group has helped a feuding facilitator and co-facilitator reach a consensus. To prevent this from happening at your company, find out if a facilitator is willing to share the reigns with someone else.