ABSTRACT

How can an analyst help a team by attending to procedure and process? In other words, how can an analyst perform the role of facilitator and what is effective team facilitation? Much of the literature on facilitation simply states what a facilitator is supposed to do, so what tasks the facilitator must perform. This advice is problematic because variations in the performance of facilitator tasks can serve different purposes. For example, a facilitator often is advised to ask questions rather than state opinions. However, questions can be phrased in such a way that a particular answer is implied. The advice to simply ask questions is therefore not sufficient; a facilitator also needs to understand the rationale behind asking questions. We clarify this rationale by formulating a set of attitudes associated with different facilitation tasks. These attitudes represent core aspects or in other words the spirit behind helping teams to decide. The more the facilitator’s behaviour is in line with these attitudes or this spirit, the more effective they will be in supporting a team decision process. This chapter describes five facilitator attitudes (helping, neutrality, inquiring, relational engagement, self-reflexivity) and the facilitator tasks aligned with each of these attitudes.