9 reasons hire facilitator group meetingEvery day, 25 million group meetings bring people together across the U.S. Executives consider 67% of these sessions to be a failure and most leaders try to avoid meetings when possible. Too little gets accomplished, too much discussion is unfocused and unproductive, time is wasted – and wasted time is attached to opportunity cost. Often, these issues are rampant because the person leading the group meeting is ill-equipped to engage the group from the start, keep them focused, prevent dysfunctional behavior, build consensus, or set the stage for follow through. By involving a facilitator, leaders can mitigate many (if not all) of those issues.

Here are the top 9 reasons one may need to enlist a facilitator.

  1. Critical Results The results of the meeting are critical to the success of the enterprise, and there will be a variety of views in the room
  2. Strong Opinions There are many strong opinions and consensus is required
  3. No Good Answers There are no apparent right answers to the situation so new, creative solutions are needed
  4. You are Vested The meeting leader is firmly vested in a particular position and wants to be open to other possible alternatives
  5. Team Ownership Required The whole team needs to feel ownership of the solution
  6. Neutral Party Needed The discussion is best guided by a neutral party to engender trust or participation
  7. Lack of Experience The team lacks someone experienced in managing group dynamics and a risk of dysfunction exists
  8. Lack of Expertise There is not enough expertise in guiding people through the work process you will be using (e.g., strategic planning, process improvement, issue resolution)
  9. Undefined Approach The product of the meeting or the work process needed to create the product is unclear or ill-defined

Answering yes to two or more of these items is a sign that your group meeting will benefit from a facilitator.

The facilitator will bring honed techniques that engage the hearts, minds, and souls of the participants. She or he will structure your session with predefined steps that drive toward an accepted result. Your participants will come away with a sense of success, having excelled as part of a team focused on key issues, building a shared vision, and committing to the actions that will bring that vision into reality.

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