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Linda Mather and Beacon Consulting Associates - IAF certification, South Africa, 2008
International Association of Facilitation Certification, South Africa, 2008
“The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another man's observation, not overturning it.”
Edward Bulwer-Lytton,
politician, poet, novelist

Meeting Facilitation for Governments, Associations, and Businesses

Make Meetings Work with Facilitation

Lighting the Way

“We came away with achievable goals and action items. Linda was the best.”

For Associations – When a trade association merged, it sought ways to define what was redundant, what was important, and what to retain. Beacon designed a customized Blue Sky day to help achieve the goal. MORE

Change and conflict often go hand in hand. Meeting facilitators increase opportunities for successful change by managing the conflict. Using a facilitator for change initiatives leads to focused and productive meetings, improved communication, and better outcomes.

As a certified professional facilitator Linda Mather provides:

  • A neutral convener – Removing bias that might inhibit communication
  • An appropriate design – Developing and executing activities and approaches that afford maximum participation
  • A safe harbor – Using and enforcing Ground Rules that allow everyone to participate on an equal footing and honor differing viewpoints
  • Opportunities for all to participate – Allowing the host the opportunity to participate fully in the discussion, without playing the dual role of chair and participant
  • Logistic support – Managing time and space to support the work of the group, as well as securing attendance, handling records, and gathering information
  • A point of trust – Establishing rapport with the participants allows all the issues and perspectives to surface in the meeting, as well as all of the controversy that is often held until afterwards and expressed in the hallways or parking lot
  • Success – Using group-defined success, the facilitator works with the group to achieve the desired outcome

Facilitation services include:

  • On-site meeting facilitation for any size group
  • Meeting planning
  • Design and logistics
  • Facilitation training
  • Summary reports of proceedings

Linda contributed to Basic Facilitation Skills, published by the Human Leadership and Development Division of the American Society for Quality, the Association for Quality and Participation and IAF, 2002, which contains sample guides and templates.

Lighting the Way

For Government Employees – Retreats and planning sessions lend themselves to outside facilitators. One state agency Linda worked with started with a team building session that included participants who had worked on the same issue for years. Because of reorganization some were working with people they hadn’t previously worked with and in some cases hadn’t even met.

Participants began the day by developing ground rules for the session. They revisited them at the end of the day to determine which ones should guide their behavior back in the office. Several months later Beacon was there when they reconvened to develop a working plan for a large grant they had received, and later for a state plan, which involved bringing in outside stakeholders. After the first session, a participant said:

“We were together and communicated our thoughts and ideas freely. This provided a framework upon which to build.”

There was more evidence of this each time the group came together.

For Small Business – When a family owned company held its first retreat in over 20 years, Beacon helped it find ways to reach its goals—improve coordination among offices, develop new business, and define resource allocations.

“Created camaraderie and a renewed sense of pride…a good forum for sharing ideas”

 

Beacon Consulting Associates, LLC · email Beacon