There are times when members of an organization or representatives of a number of different organizations must come together to deliberate and reach agreements on the overall direction or specific aspects of a joint project. Since every participant usually comes with his or her own perspective and preferred outcome, it is sometimes desirable to use a “facilitator” from outside the group who has no vested interest in any particular outcome. The perceived impartiality of the facilitator will make it easier for the participants to relinquish control over the process and trust that they will be heard and treated fairly.
The role of the outside “facilitator” will be to help move the discussions along efficiently, and to ensure that: the process (and procedural ground rules) does not favor any one person or group; the problems being addressed are stated clearly; a wide range of options are surfaced and discussed; and, the final agreement on what actions are to be taken are understandable, realistic and can be implemented.
How can you arrange for IDRS’ facilitation services?
You can arrange for facilitation services by e-mailing or calling our offices and speaking to one of our staff members on the telephone. The staff member will speak to you about your perspective on (1):
- The reason(s) for the meeting(s)
- The expected outcomes
- The number of separate sessions anticipated
- Whether you are seeking help in designing the process
- The type and number of people that will likely be involved in the collaborative
- How you want the proceedings and outcomes recorded
- Some historical information about the issues to be addressed, and
- Possible tensions, conflicts, personal agendas.
(2) Give you immediate feedback on the availability of the IDRS staff, relevant staff backgrounds, the number of facilitators that may be needed, possible need for a recorder to keep track of participant input and agreements reached, etc.
(3)Give you a “ball-park” cost estimate. This will be followed by a more detailed cost proposal
(4)Send you a proposed contract for your signature once you decide to use IDRS services and the scope of work has been determined.