Companies that hold disorganized meetings lose hundreds, thousands or even millions of dollars every year. If meetings are only 50 percent productive, companies can end up losing money due to so much wasted time, which unfortunately leads to having even more uselessly unproductive meetings. A facilitator prevents this from occurring by conducting the meeting’s flow and promoting its synergy. By observing the participants during the meeting, a facilitator can gently direct the discussion along at a steady pace, making sure that everyone gets a chance to speak and assuring that all of the key points are successfully covered.
A facilitator’s job is unique to the director running the meeting because they have a wholly neutral opinion invested in the topics discussed. Having an unbiased third-party allows the group to examine problematic issues without creating an uncomfortable working atmosphere, while concurrently guiding the participants in a time-efficient manner. With a facilitator present in meetings, it creates a more calm and relaxed environment, where one person isn’t running the show. This gives the group an opportunity to hold an open discussion about the important topics at hand.
There are a number of different factors that require facilitation before a meeting starts. Preparation is crucially important. If someone is frantically searching for paperwork, slides or the correct PowerPoint, while everyone is patiently waiting for the meeting to start, both money and time are being wasted, and it looks very unprofessional and amateurish.
As the meeting starts, it is important to create a friendly and enthusiastic atmosphere. This encourages participants to not be nervous, anxious or worried, and it also persuades them to get involved and express their views. Facilitators steadily conduct the meeting while ensuring each topic has been fully discussed and completely resolved. Everyone should be given the chance to speak while everyone listens, and a facilitator will make notes of any topics that have arisen through the topic of conversation. They will also leave time for questions, and clear up any confusion. Not only will the participants leave the meeting feeling as if they have accomplished what they originally set out to do, but they will also be certain of any newly-assigned tasks and/or protocol.
With the many advances of technology, the way meetings and seminars are conducted have changed dramatically over recent years. In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, roughly half of all meetings are now held online. It is already difficult at times to keep workers on task, juggling a multitude of different tasks, as well as the daily distractions of email, reading, researching, phone interruptions and using the internet. As this trend continues, many companies have begun creating software to combat such distractions. This allows the participants to develop and learn from professionals on an international scale.