Five things I love about being a facilitator

  1. The puzzled expression on people´s faces when I tell them what I do. Of course, health I often wish that group facilitation were a more readily understood occupation. But I love the “teachable moment” that arises when someone asks, “Facilitator? What is that? “
  2. The relief felt by meeting and conference organizers when I agree to help plan and facilitate their event. These clients are thrilled that a certified professional will advise them on how to make their meeting both participatory and productive.
  3. The cautious optimism of meeting participants when I step forward and introduce myself at the start of an event. These people are hopeful that I will make good use of their time, respect their interventions and save them from “death by PowerPoint.”
  4. The buzz of conversation when meeting participants begin to share their ideas. The moment in which the flow of information stops coming from the front of the room and instead springs from the hearts and minds of those in attendance always brings a smile of satisfaction to my face. The essence of my work is creating the conditions that permit meaningful conversations to occur.
  5. The thoughtful silence just before a group makes a decision. After the relevant information has been presented, passionate opinions have been shared, and the proposal under discussion has been honed by the collective wisdom of those present, comes the moment when as facilitator, I say, “Are we ready to make a decision?” This is the divide between the talking and the doing, between the conversation and the commitment. The silence is full of possibilities.



About the Author:

Beatrice Briggs is the founder and director of the International Institute for Facilitation and Change, a consulting firm based in Mexico. A Certified™ Professional Facilitator, she puts her years of experience at the service of leaders who want to make their meetings worth the time, talent and money invested in them. A native of the United States, Beatrice has lived in Mexico since 1998, working in both English and Spanish to alleviate the suffering caused by bad meetings wherever they occur.