One big difference between training and facilitating is that facilitators are content-neutral while being process advocates. Facilitators don’t take sides, and they don’t have a stake in the outcome. They are often an outsider or third party to the issues involved. (If not, they have to step to that outside role during facilitation.) The facilitator is there to help a group work through a process—a process that is fair, inclusive and provides a space for every member of the group to participate fully.

Let’s look at some roles and behaviors that can help a facilitator achieve this.

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.