A facilitator is someone who helps a group of people understand their common objectives and assists them to plan to achieve them without taking a particular position in the discussion. The facilitator will try to assist the group in achieving a consensus on any disagreements that preexist or emerge in the meeting so that it has a strong basis for future action. The role has been likened to that of a midwife who assists in the process of birth but is not the producer of the end result.
There are a variety of definitions for facilitator:
- "An individual who enables groups and organizatons to work more effectively; to collaborate and achieve synergy. She or he is a 'content neutral' party who by not taking sides or expressing or advocating a point of view during the meeting, can advocate for fair, open, and inclusive procedures to accomplish the group's work" - Doyle
一個使團體或組織能夠運作的更有效率使合作並達到協力的人。 她或他是個在會議中藉由不選邊站或表達提倡特定觀點已達到內在中性的一方，能提倡公平，公開，整體步驟使達成團體的工作。 - Doyle
"One who contributes structure and process to interactions so groups are able to function effectively and make high-quality decisions. A helper and enabler whose goal is to support others as they achieve exceptional performance" - Bens
一個能對互動貢獻架構與過程如此團體能夠有效率的運作並做出高品質的決策的人。 一個目標在當他人達到優秀績效時支持他人的協助者及能力賦予者。 -Bens
- "The facilitator's job is to support everyone to do their best thinking and practice. To do this, the facilitator encourages full participation, promotes mutual understanding and cultivates shared responsibility. By supporting everyone to do their best thinking, a facilitator enables group members to search for inclusive solutions and build sustainable agreements" - Kaner
Business facilitators work in business, and other formal organisations but facilitators may also work with a variety of other groups and communities. It is a tenet of facilitation that the facilitator will not lead the group towards the answer that he/she thinks is best even if they possess an opinion on the subject matter. The facilitator's roles is to make it easier for the group to arrive at its own answer, decision, or deliverable.
Training facilitators are used in adult education. These facilitators are not always subject experts, and attempt to draw on the existing knowledge of the participant, and to then facilitate access to training where gaps in knowledge are identified and agreed on. Training facilitators focus on the foundations of adult education: establish existing knowledge, build on it and keep it relevant. The role is different from a trainer with subject expertise. Such a person will take a more leading role and take a group through an agenda designed to transmit a body of knowledge or a set of skills to be acquired.
The basic skills of a facilitator are about following good meeting practices: timekeeping, following an agreed-upon agenda, and keeping a clear record. The higher-order skills involve watching the group and its individuals in light of group dynamics.
引導員的基本技能是關於遵從良好的會議實務: 時間控制，遵從同意過的議程，保持清楚的紀錄。 更高階的技能包含以團體動能的光觀察團體與其中的個人。
In addition, facilitators also need a variety of listening skills including ability to paraphrase; stack a conversation; draw people out; balance participation; and make space for more reticent group members (Kaner, et al., 1996).