A meeting facilitator is a person who helps guide a group through the process of having a meeting. In other words, they facilitate the facilitation.
But what does that mean? It means that this person makes sure everyone has an opportunity to speak and share their ideas; keeps things moving forward when it seems like things are falling off track; and overall ensures that there’s order in the chaos of trying to get people together in one room at one time.
The benefits of having a meeting facilitator fall into four main categories:
As a meeting facilitator, you’re responsible for keeping the meeting on track and moving forward. You are the person who ensures that everyone contributes their ideas, edits them down if necessary, and moves forward with the agenda.
As a result of having a facilitator at your meetings:
- You will be able to stay focused on your objective rather than being sidetracked by other topics or side conversations.
- Your meetings will feel more productive because everything is being done in an orderly way so no one feels overwhelmed by trying to get things done quickly (or does not feel like they have time for breaks).
- The end result is often better decisions made because there was no confusion over what each person wanted during discussions.* Meetings are more efficient with fewer distractions from off-topic conversations or emails sent out during sessions
- Encourage the group to continue brainstorming for solutions.
- Give a sense of purpose and focus to the group that is often lost with many people in one space.
- Help the group stay on task, as well as help them understand what is expected of them at each step along the way (this is especially important when you have remote workers in attendance).
- Ensure that everyone understands that they are working toward a solution, not just discussing their feelings about a problem.
A meeting facilitator will ensure that all voices are heard, and no one is left out. They’ll help make sure that everyone is heard, respected and valued. No one will be bullied or embarrassed by another person in the room. Your meeting facilitator can help you create an environment where everyone has a chance to speak up—and feel heard and respected when they do.
The fourth, and possibly most important reason you must have a meeting facilitator is to keep everyone involved and participating in the discussion. A good facilitator will make sure that everyone is heard and ensure that all possible solutions are considered.
When you have a meeting with more than three people, it can be easy for people to get sidetracked by their own thoughts or opinions. When this happens, it’s even harder for anyone else’s voice to be heard. A meeting facilitator will encourage brainstorming for solutions as well as keep everyone engaged throughout the entire process so that no one feels left out or ignored during important decisions about your company’s future direction or product design
This article has given you a few ideas about the value of having a meeting facilitator in your next meeting.