Video Reflection Questions: Collaborative Decision Making Part 3

Collaborative Decision Making Part 3:  Role of Facilitator/Clerk/Chair

Concepts Covered

  • Tasks/roles: agenda, relevant materials distributed in advance; make sure all voices are heard in a safe setting; seek out different opinions; handle the pace of the meeting and recognize participants to speak, sometimes with a bit of space between speakers; periodic summary/check-in with group.
  • Important for facilitator/chair to avoid expressing their opinion to avoid unintentional leading or stifling of the conversation; open and close the meeting (often with a period of silence to focus the group).
  • Important distinction between unity and unanimity – decision reached when whole group is in agreement about the way forward that is best for the entity.
  • Seeking perspectives from a participant who is in disagreement: stand aside from the decision, ask if there is additional information to share.
  • If there’s more than one person who isn’t ready to decide, the facilitator might arrange a separate time for the group or a subcommittee to discuss without the pressure of a decision.
  • Helpful to have some education before facilitating/clerking/chairing a meeting! Understanding options for handling disagreement is especially critical.

Reflection Questions

  • What qualities and practices make an effective facilitator?

  • What do you think would be most challenging about facilitating a meeting using consensus decision-making?
  • Have you had an experience where a group did not reach unity? How was it resolved?