Meeting Facilitation is a way to help teams collaborate successfully by inviting a skilled, neutral Facilitator to participate in their meeting. Facilitators do not run your meetings, nor do they make decisions for the team. Rather, the Facilitator helps the team clarify its goals, communicate effectively, work through conflicts, empower all team members, and stay on track.
No. While there are some similarities between the two, Meeting Facilitation and Mediation are different in some important ways. The biggest difference is that the purpose of Mediation is to help parties resolve a specific conflict; Meeting Facilitation is about improving the collaboration process, not on achieving an outcome or resolution. Teams need not be in conflict to benefit from Meeting Facilitation. In fact, one of the purposes of Meeting Facilitation is to help teams avoid having problematic meetings that create new conflicts.
Yes. Meeting Facilitation is a confidential process. Your Facilitator will not disclose anything that is discussed in your meetings without the written permission of all participants.
Yes. While Meeting Facilitation is a confidential process, there are some situations when your Facilitator may disclose statements made during a meeting, such as: (1) when she/he witness, or has reason to believe, that a participant is a threat to him/herself, or any other person, or to the property of others; (2) when she/he witnesses, or has reason to believe, that a child is at risk or endangered pursuant to the child protective protocol of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; (3) a client institutes a suit or ethics complaint against the Facilitator and the Facilitator needs to disclose information from the meeting for her/his own defense.
No. Although your Facilitator might be a licensed attorney, she/he does not represent you as a lawyer and you should not rely on anything she/he says as legal advice.
No. Your Facilitator is there to help the team run its own meeting successfully and efficiently. Facilitators are there to empower team members, not to take charge.
Facilitation can be in person or virtual depending on the needs of the participants and the Facilitator. During the CoVID-19 pandemic, Facilitation will be conducted virtually when doing so is recommended by federal, state or local health authorities during the CoVID-19 pandemic. When those authorities allow for in-person Facilitation, you may convene in person at a mutually convenient place and time if everyone feels safe doing so.
Your Coach will ask you to complete a confidential questionnaire prior to the first coaching session that only she/he will read. The questionnaire will ask about your goals for the coaching, the nature of the dispute, your underlying interests and alternatives, what you have tried to do to resolve the dispute, and what you understand about the other party’s/ies’ interests and perspectives. It will also ask your communication and learning style and approach to conflicts generally.