What is Facilitation?

Facilitation involves the use of a neutral expert to guide a group discussion. The facilitator is responsible for:

  • Helping the group set clear goals to ensure the discussion is productive
  • Chairing the discussions in a way that allows orderly exchanges of views in a safe and constructive environment.

How Does Facilitation Work?

Effective facilitators use their expertise in communication and conflict management to bring focus to the discussions. 

Depending on the needs of the group, the facilitator may:

  • Work with the group to set a constructive agenda
  • Ensure that all involved have an opportunity to contribute to the discussion
  • Help set an atmosphere that permits creative brainstorming
  • Ensure that the issues are framed broadly enough to allow the participants’ interests to be fully explored
  • Chair the meeting in a way that keeps the discussions focused and progressing
  • Help the group identify necessary next steps to achieve their goals
  • Prepare a summary of the results of the discussion to allow the group to have a clear blueprint for advancing their goals in the future

Who Should Consider Facilitation?

  • Organizations that wish to take some time to refocus their efforts 
  • To address challenges within the organization
  • Parties wishing to address a conflict in a safe and productive way.

Facilitation is particularly valuable where the discussion must involve a number of participants or stakeholders.

“I have known and worked with Michael Coyle since 1993. He is a skilled and highly experienced mediator and facilitator.”

Honourable Mr. Justice J. Stephen O'Neill

Ontario Superior Court of Justice

“I have witnessed Michael’s ability to facilitate difficult conversations first hand. He has a wonderful ability to pace dialogue so that all participants feel heard. Comments are captured and confirmed before moving forward. The effect of this approach is calming, professional and progressive. I am pleased to recommend Michael Coyle’s facilitation, and conflict resolution services.”

Mayor Bill Weber

Municipality of Lambton Shores