If you are organizing a team planning session, a workshop, or an important management meeting, a meeting facilitator can offer many benefits that will increase the value of the meeting for everyone.
1) The meeting will stay on track. The job of the facilitator is to ensure people stay on time and speak about topics that are relevant and on task. If you stray from the purpose of the meeting and waste valuable time, the facilitator will interject and get the conversation back on track. This is slightly harder to do when there are power dynamics at play and management is leading the session.
2) Hard questions get asked. Having a facilitator creates a safe space for people to ask questions that get to the root of issues without having concerns come out as personal attacks. This way, the important topics get covered to a level of satisfaction for the whole group.
3) Everyone can participate. If you're the leader of a team, you can't lead your team and facilitate a conversation at the same time. People wont speak freely, and you wont get the information you desire from the meeting. If you're the facilitator, you will also find it difficult to be fully be present in the conversation. Having an external facilitator will allow better conversations and better participation from everyone, including leaders.
4) A facilitator can bring outside perspective. Since a meeting facilitator (or strategy consultant) works with so many different groups, they bring tools and best practices from a variety of industries, as well as learnings from working with many different groups. These perspectives in conflict resolution, change management, or business strategy can be extremely valuable during key points of your organizational planning.
5) Facilitators are used to dealing with people (lots of them). Their job is to manage people and make sure communication lines are open for everyone. If you have to deal with different stakeholders, different teams, or a larger group of people that normal, a facilitator can help make the process easier and more effective.
Just like you would hire specialists like developers, lawyers, accountants or others during crucial moments in your business or your organization, a meeting facilitator brings in specialized expertise to assist your team in working through strategy.
Contact us to learn more about our strategic planning facilitation services