To those who have never been in a well run (facilitated meeting), the word facilitator has about the same meaning as meeting coordinator, meeting manager or even representative of the person in charge. I used to think that too. After many years, my interpretation of facilitator then moved to simply an independent person who kept the meeting on track. I used to think that too!
Now I understand that a great facilitator is one that has a comprehensive understanding of the intent of the meeting, works with the meeting owner to design a meeting that fills the needs of the group and yet insures that all voices are heard. It is no longer simply a meeting “manager” or a cookie cutter strategic planner. Each group is different and they need to be engaged in designing the outcome so that there is 100% support of the results.
I laugh sometimes when I google the word facilitator. It can mean someone who provides intake services for inmates, intake for patients at a hospital, supervisor in a manufacturing facility, or teacher. My hope is that everyone at sometime in their life, gets to experience the energy, and outcome potential that can be achieved using a dynamic, skilled and intuitive facilitator.
What does “facilitator” mean to you?