The Habits of Highly Effective Facilitators


This tool outlines 15 habits that highly effective facilitators focus on. Facilitators organize the conversations that other people have. Their role is to guide the conversation by defining the desired outcomes, deciding the sequence of topics, ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard, asking relevant questions, limiting non-productive communication, and summarizing the conclusions reached.

Highly effective facilitators focus on doing the following 15 things regularly.

  1. Establish goals: both of meeting and process overall.
  2. Define the agenda (in advance or at the meeting).
  3. Deal with ground rule violations quickly and fairly.
  4. Define and manage the ground rules.
  5. Clarify decision-making roles and responsibilities.
  6. Ensure that everyone’s voice is heard.
  7. Keep their own voice and personality in check
  8. Probe for clarity; make sure everyone understands what’s said.
  9. Document key points and agreements so they are visible to all.
  10. Test and validate consensus as needed.
  11. Put conflicts on the table and address them productively.
  12. Document action steps, responsibilities, and timing.
  13. Clarify what communication needs to happen after the meeting.
  14. Summarize key decisions at the end of the meeting.
  15. Ask people to evaluate the quality of the meeting and what to do differently next time.

LRI is a Sacramento consulting firm with a unique blend of facilitation and consulting.

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