Getting started with facilitation: setting up for a successful meeting


When you are assembling resources for a project, don’t overlook the role of a facilitator. When a group or team needs to make decisions, a facilitator is a great resource to lead the meeting to ensure the goals are met.

Facilitator preparation

Before a meeting occurs, the facilitator must meet with the project sponsor and planning team to discuss the goals of the meeting. Then the facilitator will review the room location to ensure it can be set up to maximize participation.

4 magic flip charts that should be part of every meeting

  1. Goals/Objectives – It is critical that the group understand the goals and objectives for the meeting. If there is a series of meetings, there may be overall goals and objectives but each meeting may have more specific goals for each session. >goals-chart.jpg
  2. Agenda – An agenda helps meeting attendees focus. The agenda should include major milestones and breaks. Start and finish ON TIME! During the introduction of the meeting, make any adjustments suggested by the team. This is step 1 to agreement. Do we ‘agree’ on our agenda?                                                                           agenda-chart.jpg
  3. Ground Rules – How will we work together? Don’t assume that everyone shares the same ground rules for a meeting. It is critical that the group review the ground rules together and makes any changes. This is another great point for engagement and agreement. “Do we AGREE on the ground rules?” Ask the team to highlight their favorite ground rule.rules-chart.jpg
  4. Parking Lot – How will we manage issues that are not part of the initial goals and objectives? Don’t forget to include a place to note other items that arise as part of the discussion. It is critical that the facilitator revisit the parking lot at regular times to ensure they are addressed.