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Meeting Facilitator: How to Choose the Right Facilitator

June 06, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 224

Most companies have held meetings where discussions did not go according to plan, because certain people talked too much, the conversation lacked direction, the usual proposals were met with the usual rebuttals, etc. Unfortunately, meetings like these are a weekly reality at some companies, but the solution is not to fire everyone and start over. Instead, a meeting facilitator should be used to restore order to group discussions, and open new lines of conversation that encourage productive solutions.

Are Meetings at Your Company Unproductive?

If your company suffers from unproductive meetings, a facilitator will help resolve the issues that are causing the problem, and demonstrate how to make communication more productive. If you need assistance choosing a facilitator, the tips below will help.

Choose a Candidate with the Right Experience

The experience of a candidate matters as much as her training and education. In fact, some of the best candidates have a distinguished career in another profession, and choose to be a facilitator to share their knowledge. A speaker who has insight on your company's industry is the best choice to facilitate business conferences that involve strategic planning.

Speak with a Candidate's Past Clients

Speaking with the client of a facilitator is an excellent way to learn about their strengths and weaknesses, especially the subtle aspects of their performance, such as patience, or a lack of it. Speaking with several of a candidate's clients is the best way to learn about how they perform in front of a live audience.

Consider Using an Agency

Because most agencies work with facilitators who consistently receive positive feedback from clients, hiring a candidate through an agency makes it easy to select a person who has a record of accomplishment. It also provides the opportunity to choose from various candidates who have diverse skill sets.

Choose a Candidate Who Offers Orientations

Some facilitators provide orientations, where they discuss the nature of facilitation and acquaint the client with how the session will be handled in terms of the agenda, how participants should conduct themselves, and how the goal of the session will be reached. Receiving an orientation helps the client prepare for the meeting, which helps the facilitator accomplish the goals of the session.

Do not Make Cost the Deciding Factor

Cost is always a consideration when hiring a facilitator, but it should not be the deciding factor in whether a candidate is hired, especially when a conference has a high-profile agenda, and its failure could spell financial trouble for the client. Most facilitators charge a reasonable price that is based on their experience, expertise, and recognition. Hiring a candidate through an agency makes it easier to hire a facilitator for a certain price.


When a company needs a meeting to be productive, or needs help reestablishing a process for holding productive sessions, retaining the services of a facilitator is a wise option. There are several types of facilitators from which companies can choose. To make the best selection in terms of a candidate's cost, recognition, and expertise, selecting a candidate through an agency is the best choice.

Hiring a meeting facilitator is an important step toward holding meetings that are more productive. Most companies hire facilitators through a facilitation service.

Source: EzineArticles
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