Facilitator = Architect, Pilot, Guide & Harvester

People often ask me what a facilitator does. They get the part that it is like chairing a meeting. But they have a harder time understanding the other critical aspects of effective facilitation.

This short video does a good job at summarizing the dimensions of a facilitator’s role as part architect, pilot and guide. I find the first role, as architect, is often overlooked. Too often clients arrange for a facilitator after participants have been invited and the agenda has been set. But an experienced facilitator can really help clients get the most of out of everyone’s time if they are brought in early enough to influence the design and structure of the event.

I would also add in, at least as far as my work goes, “harvester” to the video’s description of a facilitator. Much of what I do is help a group capture what they have discussed in a way that will be helpful for their next steps.

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