A facilitator is someone who helps a group to collaborate, work effectively, and to learn different ways of thinking about things. The facilitator does not take sides on an issue or share their point of view since this might sway the results that the group achieves. An effective facilitator has excellent communication skills, as well as an advanced understanding of group dynamics, problem-solving, consensus building, conflict resolution, and facilitation tools and processes.
A facilitative individual is someone who is easy to work with, a team player, and aware of individual and group dynamics. They may be leading facilitation, or they might be a part of a facilitated group. They are knowledgeable in the interpersonal skills of communication, collaborative problem solving and planning, consensus building, and conflict resolution. Some leaders approach their work and teams from a facilitative perspective, in contrast to someone who leads by directing.
Facilitative behaviors and skills are essential for anyone who expects to succeed in working collaboratively in groups or organizations today. Facilitative skills honor, enhance, and focus the wisdom and knowledge that is otherwise unexpressed in most groups. They are critical skills for developing what we have come to think of as the learning organization.