When you plan a meeting for Strategic Planning or other focused purpose do you as the Board Chair, Business Owner, CEO or ED run the meeting? Have you ever hired a professional facilitator, one who is a professional at planning and facilitating meetings? If you have not used a professional  facilitator you may be missing some of the strategic benefits of doing so.

Whether it’s a small group of business partners or a large group of employees, having an outside facilitator for your meeting can often provide the positive results you are striving for.  We will bring an open-minded perspective to your meeting. We will keep the discussion focused, keep the process on track and will encourage your team members as equals in the process. In my own personal and professional experiences over 28 years, I have always witnessed better outcomes when an outside facilitator is brought in.

Here are 10 reasons why you should hire an outside facilitator for your next meeting.

Benefit #1: A professional facilitator is unbiased and will bring an objective point of view in order to assist you in meeting your meetings objective.

Benefit #2: Outside the Box thinking.A professional facilitator will bring an outside your company and industry perspective. He or She will ask valuable questions that are beyond the traditional and normal questions people from within your company will ask. That will ask questions that insiders might not see or may be afraid to ask.

Benefit #3: Challenge the groups thinking so that they think about the Bigger Picture and not just in their primary areas of responsibility.

Benefit #4: Ensure an equal playing field and gain greater buy-in and implementation from team members. In order to get 100% of the participants to engage in the process it is important that they feel safe in the environment and in voicing their ideas and concerns. If the Board Chair, ED, Business Owner, CEO, President or other senior staff runs the meeting, the team members may believe there is an unannounced predetermined plan or hidden agenda involved. They may be guarded in what they say or respond in a fashion that they believe the person in charge wants them to respond. This can ultimately create resentment among the attendees and hinder the participation among team members.

Benefit #5: The Board Chair, ED, Business Owner, CEO, or President can participate and their participation is checked in balance with other team members by the professional facilitator so that they cannot dominate or sway the conversation in one way or another.

Benefit #6: A professional  facilitator will create a safe, non-threatening environment for open discussion and helping participants feel less threatened.

 Benefit #7: Raising controversial issues that need to be raised and asking the tough questions. Sometimes there is an 8000-pound elephant in the room that nobody wants address. A professional  facilitator will bring the benefit of a dispassionate perspective so that a difficult issue can be discussed, diffuse any arguments that may arise, and channel these intense moments into problem solving opportunities.

Benefit #8: Insure there are no negative personal agendas. If an insider facilitates the meeting their ability to be objective will eventually be challenged when the discussion turns to their area(s) of responsibility or areas they have a strong personal opinion about.

Benefit #9: A professional  facilitator should be good at asking follow up questions, challenging the participants thinking in a non-threatening manner including the boss(s). At times being a devils advocate.

Benefit #10: The will ensure your meeting runs on time and you achieve the results and feedback you desire.

We will plan and facilitate your meeting for you. We will arrange for the venue, work with you to understand your objectives, and facilitate the discussion so that your objectives are realized and you are able to receive the information you desire.  If you’d like to learn how we can facilitate your next meeting please call or email me at 406-690-5988 or mike@beartoothbiz.com.