Facilitation that goes beyond “feel-good” exercises to actually solving problems requires a combination of unique skills. First, the facilitator needs to understand in advance the organization, its goals, and the dynamics that might be in the room on the day of the meeting. The facilitator then carefully plans every minute of the meeting to optimize the chances of a successful outcome. During the meeting itself, the facilitator must move that agenda forward while managing group dynamics and the possible “acting out” of individuals. Finally, and this is crucial, the facilitator, while being fully in control of the meeting, must be able to recognize and capture action steps and organize them into a plan for the future.
Tory Ruttenberg has this unique combination of abilities—assessment, agenda design, group facilitation, and planning—and enjoys the multiple challenges facilitation presents. She frequently facilitates meetings, retreats, and multiday planning sessions for nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Her facilitation services include:
Agenda design, meeting facilitation, action planning, and follow-up
Annual retreats, senior staff retreats, board retreats, and working sessions
Strategic planning: vision and mission, goal setting, and long-range planning
Discussion and resolution of issues involving leadership, teamwork, communication, and governance