is a powerful process whereby a neutral third party assists a pair or group of people more effectively and efficiently to obtain information or knowledge to achieve their objective of the meeting and / or to reach a solution to their issues.
A facilitator (1) provides structure to the meeting and guides the conversation—drawing out information from the participants, (2) presents and records information provided by the group, (3) keeps the group focused on their task, and (4) ensures everyone participates. A skilled facilitator can help teams, meetings, and training classes achieve results they would not be able to achieve without a facilitator—saving everyone time. Without a facilitator, the group often lacks the skills, permission, and support needed to facilitate their own meetings. Issues a facilitator can handle effectively include off topic conversations, competing conversation, dominating participants, etc.