What is the Role of Facilitator in Formal Consensus?


The word "facilitate" means "to make easy." A Facilitator conducts group business and guides the Formal Consensus process so that Decision-making flows smoothly at group Meetings. Rotating facilitation from meeting to meeting shares important skills among the members. If everyone has firsthand knowledge about facilitation, it will help the flow of all Meetings. Co-facilitation, or having two (or more) people facilitate a Meeting, is recommend. In this way, an inexperienced Facilitator may apprentice with a more experienced one. Use a variety of group discussion techniques throughout the meeting. And with proper timing, a bit of humor can go a long way in easing tension during a difficult moment at the Meeting.

   The Facilitator is expected to meet with the Agenda Planning Committee prior to the business meeting to plan a proposed agenda and brainstorm on discussion techniques for specific agenda items.

   Good facilitation is based upon the following principles:



Sources: Consensus for Cities, On Conflict & Consensus

Contributors: Amy Rothstein, C.T. Butler

Recommended Books: Consensus for Cities, On Conflict & Consensus