Why do you need a professional facilitator?

Meetings can be derailed in so many ways. The checklist below show the core practices of great meetings. Missing any one of the 46 can derail the meeting.
Is it any wonder some research finds more than 70% of meetings are a waste of time!
Check list of 46 professional facilitation core practices for great meetings:
  • Assesses the needs of the group
  • Asks the right questions at the right time: relevant, probing, clear, concise, challenging.
  • Asks, ‘How are we doing?’
  • Builds consensus and commitment
  • Checks time, space, energy, pace, process
  • Creates an open & trusting environment
  • Defines problems
  • Effectively handles resistance
  • Encourages healthy debate
  • Ensures every session ends with clear steps for the next meeting
  • Ensures participants feel ownership for what is achieved
  • Gets buy in
  • Gives structure
  • Helps the group make high quality decisions
  • Intervenes appropriately to improve the functioning of the group
  • Involves everyone in the discussions
  • Is assertive
  • Is flexible about changing / modifying  the process
  • Is optimistic and positive
  • Is pleasant
  • Is very observant and monitors the group, subgroups and individuals
  • Keeps an open mind, open attitude, open body language 
  • Keeps the group on track
  • Keeps time
  • Knows when to stop, when to interject, when to offer suggestions and when to withdraw
  • Knows how to use a wide range of discussion tools
  • Labels side-tracks (and parks)
  • Listens actively
  • Looks calm
  • Makes / encourages accurate notes
  • Makes meeting purpose / outcomes clear
  • Manages conflict well
  • Paraphrases regularly to clarify
  • Prepares well
  • Provides feedback
  • Redirects questions for greater participation
  • Summarises concisely 
  • Sets the scene / frames up the meeting
  • Stays neutral
  • Stays focused on process and out of content 
  • Surfaces concerns
  • Synthesises
  • Test assumptions
  • Treats everyone equally
  • Trusts the process, trusts the people
  • Uses flip charts to capture ideas, decisions, the wisdom of the group
A professional facilitator’s purpose is to make the group succeed.  
In the words of Lao Tse, an effective facilitator will leave the group convinced, “We did it ourselves”.