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What is a "Co-Facilitator" and When is Their Role Utilized?

A:

Instead of the usual practice of having one Facilitator it is often wise to have two facilitators. Here are some of the reasons and circumstances for team facilitation:

  1. More information and ideas are available during the planning.
  2. More energy (physical and emotional) is available to the group - especially during times of conflict or when handling complicated matters.
  3. If a Facilitator becomes personally involved in the discussion, it is easy to hand the job over to the co-facilitator for the time being.
  4. Co-facilitation is a way for more people to gain experience and become skilled facilitators.
  5. It is less exhausting, demanding and scary.

For people who are not used to working as a team, it is probably wise to divide responsibility for the Agenda clearly before the Meeting. However, co-facilitation means that the person who is not currently "on duty" is still responsible for paying attention as "Vibes watcher" and pitching in to help clarify issues, test for Consensus, etc.

In evaluating their work together, people who work as co-facilitators can help each other by giving feedback and support, and thus learn and grow.

 

Source: Building Social Change Communities

Contributors: Berit Lakey, The Training/Action Affinity Group of Movement for a New Society 

Recommended Reading: Building Social Change Communities