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What is Facilitation?

To facilitate is to make possible, to ease, to assist.

Facilitation is the art of facilitating, and when it comes to meetings and events - it really relates to everything. Creative Contingencies facilitates meetings, events and information flows.

  • Finding a venue, liaising with personnel, finalising details, onsite event management.
  • Planning and conducting strategic planning workshops and customer focus groups with the aid of technology, whether online or together at the same time and place.
  • Making sense of information by managing data online.


Definitions of facilitation on the Web:

The act of facilitating or making easy

Facilitation in business, organizational development (OD) and in consensus decision-making refers to the process of designing and running a successful meeting. (business)

Coordinating rather than leading an exercise so that all group members are encouraged to participate in the discussion or activity.

Facilitation is a collaborative process in which a neutral seeks to assist a group of individuals or other parties to discuss constructively a number of complex, potentially controversial issues.  The neutral in a facilitation process (the "facilitator") plays a less active role than a mediator and, unlike a mediator, does not see “resolution” of a conflict as a goal of his or her work.

Facilitation in education is to help the learner forward, to manage a learner focused education process in an outcome based education model.

Involves the use of techniques to improve the flow of information in a meeting between parties to a dispute. It is procedural assistance provided to enable participants to communicate more effectively and move towards agreement.

A process by which a third-party neutral helps both parties reach a consensus on disputed issues.


Act of assisting or making easier the progress or improvement of something

A process intended to make something easier. Facilitation requires many important interpersonal skills, most of which center on initiating, maintaining, monitoring, and concluding different forms of structured group activities.

A collaborative process used to help parties discuss issues, identify and achieve goals and complete tasks in a mutually-satisfactory manner. This process uses an impartial third party, the facilitator, who focuses on the processes and procedures of dispute resolution and decision-making. The facilitator is impartial to the issues being discussed, rarely contributes substantive ideas and has no decision-making authority.

At some time, groups both large and small become bogged down or embroiled in conflict. Facilitators help groups restore and maximize their ability to work together by skillfully generating a rich level of participation; surfacing all perspectives, including less popular views; and guiding group members through proven problem-solving techniques which can be applied to both present and future issues.

Assisting someone to make something easier. In this context, the ‘something' done by others is learning, or more precisely, changing through and by learning. Facilitating learning groups, therefore, means enabling learning to occur in the individuals and the group.

Assisting/guiding approach ("guide-on-the-side") to a learning situation; can be contrasted to the directive teacher-instructor ("sage-on-the-stage") approach. (See Inglis, Ling, & Joosten (1999) pp. 31-33). Heavily influenced by Humanistic psychology.

Help and encouragement in the learning process, particularly intended to enable self-directed learning.

Assistance provided to a group of people by an impartial party (facilitator) in order to help the group conduct a satisfying meeting or series of meetings.

Facilitation is a process in which the parties (usually a group), with the assistance of a neutral third party (the facilitator), identify problems to be solved, tasks to be accomplished or disputed issues to be resolved. Facilitation may conclude there, or it may continue to assist the parties to develop options, consider alternatives and endeavour to reach an agreement. The facilitator has no advisory or determinative role on the content of the matters discussed or the outcome of the process, but may advise on or determine the process of facilitation.

A facilitator is a third party who helps the disputants to stay focused on working toward their common goals by following the agreed-upon ground rules. The facilitator takes a less active role in helping the parties find a solution than the mediator would.

Helping groups work together productively.

A well timed intervention that makes it easier for people to speak openly, make a decision, resolve an issue or generate creative ideas. It requires clarity of role, the skills and confidence to deal with disruptive individuals or difficult situations, and the ability to move a group forward towards an assessment of their own performance.