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Facilitation

'Faciliation' means making things easy for other people. Typically, facilitation is a role taken by a process expert in running a meeting to help a team to achieve a task, from improving a process to building a business plan.

In a facilitated meeting, the facilitator owns the meeting process, allowing the participants to focus on the problem. Facilitation thus requires two skills: (a) expertise in the process, such as business planning, and  (b) helping people to work together on a common problem.

There are two forms of facilitation: process facilitation and developmental facilitation. In process facilitation, the facilitator helps the group solve a problem. In developmental facilitation, the facilitator feeds back information about how the group is working together, aiming to help them to learn to solve problems for themselves. It is thus the difference between feeding people and teaching them to fish. The latter, of course, is a much bigger job and few people want to learn to fish when they are hungry and in a hurry.

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