As a Group Facilitator, I am often hired by a governmental entity or a business to manage a large public meeting (e.g., a public informational exchange about a proposed project) or to facilitate a series of meetings (e.g., for a public task force or a series of retreats to develop a strategic plan). In either case, the client is also hiring me as a conflict consultant.
Prior to facilitating a public informational meeting, I advise clients on the best strategies to:
- Make a quality, interactive presentation at the meeting.
- Respond to questions from the public in a non-confrontational way, while delivering honest information.
- Develop and present a plan for long-term interaction with those members of the public with ongoing concerns with the proposal (see The Issues Group). (If the client desires, I can be the manager of that long-term plan.)
- Most of all, I make sure that the clients understand the differences between my role as the process person and their presentation and advocacy roles.
When I facilitate a series of meetings, I can serve as an ongoing advisor to the client (typically the convener of the meetings), giving advice and counsel on:
- Ensuring that the group selected is inclusive – even aggressive, “radical” elements must be at the table for exhaustive discussions to occur and credible decisions to be made.
- Setting out clear expectations for the task expected of the group (sometimes this is very difficult for a client who simply wants to create a task force to “bring down the heat” about an issue).
- Cooperatively developing a documentation process for the meetings of the group (if the meetings are public, they may be documented electronically, as […]