Definition: "Group Facilitation is a process in which a person whose selection is acceptable to all members of the group, who is substantively neutral, and who has no substantive decision-making authority diagnoses and intervenes to help a group improve how it identifies and solves problems and makes decisions, to increase the group's effectiveness." Roger Schwarz
People come together and meet for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the participants are referred to as groups, teams or committees. Sometimes these words are used interchangeably, however teams usually have a common bond such as interdependency, and a commitment to a goal. Groups, are usually not as cohesive and less accountable to each other.
Facilitators can serve many different roles including creating effective meetings, running workshops, conducting training, and guiding team development. A facilitaor is someone who uses knowledge of group processes to formulate and deliver the needed structure for interactions to be effective.
Learning to work together does not necessarily come naturally. Nor is it always easy. The role of the facilitator is to help the particpants learn how to work together by providing structure (process) while the group remains focused on the content.