Read our musings about all things related to Facilitation, Coaching, Organisational Development and Training.

Five Reasons Leaders and Managers Should Hire an Independent Facilitator

It's my view the time has come when leaders and managers simply can't afford NOT to have excellent, focused and effective meetings and events.  Here are my five reasons why leaders and managers should hire an independent facilitator for meetings that really matter.

Everywhere we look, experts surround us. Regardless of our goal, need, issue or concern, you'll find an expert who can help you - social media expert, financial expert, HR expert, PR expert - our expertise knows no bounds!

My particular brand of expertise is meeting facilitation where I design the right process to help groups and organisations achieve amazing results. It's not a field of expertise that gets much recognition - after all, anyone can run a meeting. Whilst that's true, most meetings don't achieve amazing results - quite often the opposite - underwhelming drudgery.

Time is Money

Next time you gather your people together, calculate the salary costs involved. You'll be surprised how much you're spending on meetings - what does that equate to monthly, annually?  Most leaders and managers are NOT meeting experts. You’re usually too busy to carefully plan highly effective meetings. The default is often a case of showing up and then asking the questions, 'Why are we here?’, 'What do we hope to achieve?'  Engage a facilitator in advance and these questions become the bedrock on which the meeting will be professionally designed and led.

Your Own Participation is Maximised 

When you take responsibility for running the meeting, it's hard to participate fully.  Engage a professional facilitator, give them a brief and then let them design a meeting where you can participate fully, whilst the facilitator professionally orchestrates proceedings.  Having a facilitator allows you to bring your best self to the meeting.

Different Ways of Meeting will Produce Different Results

Meet in the same old way you usually do and you're bound to get the same old results. Don't waste your precious time thinking of creative and imaginative ways of conducting your meetings and events for the better results you dream of. If you knew what to do differently, you'd already be doing it. Instead, hire an independent facilitator who will bring meeting expertise to deliver ways of conducting business that really achieve the results you need. 

Vested Interests can Derail your Meeting Outcomes

As in independent third party, your facilitator will have an eye to the various ways individuals may try to push their own preferred solutions or agendas.  People often approach meetings with the attitude “I want”.  A skilled facilitator will successfully guide groups towards effective decisions by helping the group make the transition from “I want” to “We need”. 

Disruptive People and Behaviours get Skillfully Challenged

People are both the greatest obstacle and catalyst for highly effective meetings that achieve amazing outcomes. Successfully managing people so they conduct themselves to serve the interest of the meeting takes skillful determination.  Any good facilitator will establish and maintain meeting guidelines that direct participants towards effective behaviours. Ineffective behaviours will be skillfully challenged and being an external and impartial presence with tactful techniques, makes the task of the facilitator easier when faced with such challenging and troublesome behaviours.   If you are determined to change your meeting culture, get yourself an independent facilitator.

1 Comment(s)

Hi Paul - we said hello yesterday at the SRN Gathering event in Murrayfield where you led and facilitated the conference along with your colleague Ronnie McEwan. A job well done.

I agree with you that it's useful to have an independent facilitator at meetings if possible or at the very least a facilitator who can lead or manage the group interactions independently, without bias or control. As a community worker since 1980 and living in south Lanarkshire, now in Fife from 1990, I've worked with many groups in different settings. The challenge and enjoyment of group work, to my mind, is the unexpected that happens, the process of relationships that can develop and the outcomes which may or may not be the original ones planned.

Now finding myself a writer, activist and campaigner in mental health matters, from the survivor perspective, the skills I learnt as a facilitator in community settings have come in useful.

All the best, Chrys

Chrys Muirhead / 19-Mar-2013 06:50 PM

Leave a reply

Optional details

Verification code

Captcha Image