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Facilitation Resources - Volume 2

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Volume 2. Contracting and Handling Logistics

Overview: Agreeing to Facilitate and Handling Logistics

Contracting: Agreeing to Facilitate

The questions in this section are designed to help the facilitator in several ways. They put some "structure" to initial discussions and to the decision on whether or not to accept the facilitation. They are also a guide to working with the group or organization. The word contracting as used here is not meant to suggest a rigid or formal agreement, but rather a planning process.

Included are questions for the facilitator to use with representatives of the group/organization in meeting(s). There is also a worksheet on logistics and arrangements to be used as the next follow-up step. Also included are some questions relating to ethics. These are designed to serve as the facilitator's personal checklist, to help decide whether or not to take on the project. In addition, they should help the facilitator spot any "red flags" during the planning process. You will find more on ethical decision making and use of power in Volume 7: Diversity, Power, and Ethics.

The evaluation and activity report pieces in Volume 8 should be thought of as part of the contracting process. They can also be helpful because in this work we call facilitation one never quits learning.

In Volume 8 you will find case studies. We recommend you review them as practice in contracting. They vary in complexity and difficulty. They can also be used as a format to create examples specific to your own situations.

Handling the Logistics

Good facilitators know that the success of a meeting begins with good planning before the group gathers. The contracting will help to clarify roles and expectations. However, additional planning is needed to set out the agenda, communicate with participants, make room arrangements, and gather supplies and equipment. Time spent in preparation will increase the chances of a successful meeting.

Pre-meeting work may include collecting data, laying out the agenda, determining the group process to follow, and possibly having a couple of alternatives in case flexibility is required.

Know the room. This may mean going to look at the space ahead of time, or at least, arriving very early so you can make sure the seating arrangement is appropriate for the room, the size of the group, and the work that is to be accomplished. There are many different room arrangements; select the one that will create an atmosphere of openness and encourage group involvement.

Develop a checklist to review the needed equipment for the meeting. Resources may include name tags, flipcharts, AV equipment, markers and tape, table tents, etc. Have extra supplies on hand.


Four tools are included to make handling the logistics of group meetings easier:

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