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Facilitators

Synergy Alberta recommends Synergy Groups benefit from the expertise and experience that a professional facilitator can bring to the table.

A facilitator is:

  1. A neutral person able to help a group work through challenging issues, identify goals, select activities and stay on track (both during meetings and throughout its existence.)
  2. Some groups hire a facilitator to work with them continually throughout their synergy processes (regular meetings, public events, etc.), while others hire a facilitator for specific projects such as creating a vision and mission, strategic planning, public input on new developments or for large public events.
  3. A facilitator is not emotionally involved in the group or the issues facing the group so he or she can objectively guide the group through problem-solving and decision-making.
  4. A facilitator can help balance participation between outgoing and quieter group members and make sure everyone hears and is heard and help groups work through contentious and often emotional issues.
  5. Many facilitators are trained in dealing effectively with conflict and can be key to a group formed in response to a contentious issue moving forward effectively while continuing to build relationships between members.
  6. As a neutral party present at meetings, a facilitator can also help group members stay on track and work through agenda items in a timely fashion. Keeping meetings effective is an important way to keep the entire group effective and maintain the members' interest.
  7. A Synergy Group may benefit from a facilitator's service as the group is forming to help bring people together in a collaborative way, and throughout the group's tenure to ensure that the group remains collaborative and efficiently organized.

Why use a facilitator?

A facilitator is not emotionally involved in the group or the issues facing the group. The facilitator is not a group member, he or she can objectively guide the group through problem-solving and decision-making.

A facilitator can help balance participation between outgoing and shy group members and help groups work through contentious and often emotional issues. Many facilitators are trained in dealing effectively with conflict and can be key to a group formed in response to a contentious issue moving forward effectively while continuing to build relationships between members.

As a neutral party present at meetings, a facilitator can also help group members stay on track and work through agenda items in a timely fashion. Keeping meetings effective is an important way to keep the entire group effective and maintain the members' interest.

A Synergy Group may benefit from a facilitator's service as the group is forming to help bring people together in a collaborative way, and throughout the group's tenure to ensure that the group remains collaborative and efficiently organized.

What are the differences between facilitation, mediation, and arbitration?

Facilitation is providing process guidance to a meeting, or series of meetings of a particular group. Facilitation promotes collaboration among participants while having effective and efficiently run meetings. Facilitators are trained to handle conflict situations as they occur.

Mediation is process for resolving conflict which is best described as assisted, face-to-face discussion between the parties who are in conflict. The parties involved shape their own outcome or agreement. Mediators are neutral third parties who are specifically trained to guide the parties through a process to resolve their issues.

Arbitration is also a process for resolving conflict. However, arbitration involves a third party who makes a decision for the two parties in conflict. It is a formal process, which requires input from the participants, although they have no input into the decision.

Below is the list of current, qualified, Synergy Alberta-recommended facilitators.  Synergy groups are encouraged to contact these facilitators directly or contact Synergy Alberta to discuss facilitation needs within your group.

Facilitators