Sometimes we need the input of others in order to make a process easier. We also often could use someone who can bring a group together when working toward a goal. When this is done, that person is someone who facilitates.

In a meeting, it can be easy for a group to lose direction. Having a facilitator onboard can help a group stay on task and work together efficiently to find the right solution.

Overview: What is facilitate?

Facilitate means to make something more likely to happen or easier. This can be applied to production, a process, or virtually any activity.

5 benefits of facilitate

There are many key benefits of facilitating:

1. Better outcomes

Facilitation provides better outcomes, which bring about a better return on investment.

2. Improves efficiency

The ability to facilitate improves efficiency.

3. Better group management

Facilitation improves how work is done in a group dynamic.

4. Brings team leaders into the work dynamic

Facilitation brings team leaders into the work process, which helps unify the group around a common purpose.

5. Accountability

Facilitation brings about outcomes where the entire group involved feels like they are accountable for a project’s success.

Why is facilitate important to understand?

Facilitating is important to understand for the following reasons when working with your organization on projects:

Managing large groups

Large groups can be extremely difficult to organize. By understanding how to facilitate, you can help bring a group together that is working towards a common goal.

Reaching a consensus

A skilled facilitator can help a group reach consensus.


Understanding how to facilitate is important because it is a communication skill that has become necessary with how businesses have restructured in recent years. More power has been given to individual employees to handle a wide range of decisions, so the ability to facilitate is vital.

An industry example of facilitate

A toy manufacturer has a board of directors that is having difficulty agreeing on a direction for the organization’s next product. Every time a meeting is held, the board members talk over one another and little is accomplished. With time running out until a new product announcement is expected by the public, the CEO decides to bring on outside help that can facilitate the next meeting. This facilitator is able to succeed in keeping the meeting productive and focused so that a consensus is reached as to which new product to announce to the public.

3 best practices when thinking about facilitate

If you are facilitating a meeting in your organization, here are some best practices to keep in mind:

1. Embrace the quiet moments

If you are facilitating a meeting, do not get uncomfortable during periods of silence. Allow for these moments, as they provide time for participants to reflect and process.

2. Utilize the experts in the room

Recognize that the people in the meeting have a variety of ideas, expertise, and experiences. They may have answers that you do not have, so be willing to ask them the right questions.

3. Encourage participation

Make sure that everyone in the meeting has a voice. One way to ensure this is to allow every participant a chance to make opening and closing remarks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about facilitate

What is the facilitation process?

It is a process that involves enabling groups to work together in an effective and cooperative manner.

What are five basic facilitation skills?

Five basic facilitation skills are presenting, observing, attending, listening, and questioning.

What are the six Ps of facilitation?

The six Ps of facilitation are purpose, product, participants, potential or probable issues, process, and place.

When is it time to facilitate?

If a process or project is deemed overly complex or a group is not working well together, it is likely time to use facilitation in order to move your organization forward.

About the Author