Facilitation is a process that involves collaborating and that helps the parties concerned discuss problems/subjects, identify and achieve goals and fulfill tasks, in a mutually satisfactory manner.
The facilitator helps the sides concerned work more efficiently in view of collaborating and constructing the agreement in order to make decisions, build up a plan and so on. He also assists the sides concerned, focusing almost entirely on the process and procedures of resolving disputes and making decisions.
The facilitator is impartial towards the subject in discussion and has no authority to make decisions. He does not suggest nor give out solutions and is chosen when there are no conflicts between the sides concerned, but merely disagreements concerning certain subjects. The technique is intuitive and based on the classic facilitation process:
Clarify the problem-generate ideas-reduce the number of ideas to only a few.
Short description of the process
We determine the problem by clarifying and identifying that “sentence” that best reflects the problem to be solved.
We generate alternatives by changing the register of the discussion.
We reduce the number of ideas to a few that are most important.
We evaluate the ideas by structuring criteria on an assessment frame and by then using each idea in correlation with each criteria (as you would in a matrix). Then which criteria is most important in relation to your interest.
The plan of action
Any facilitating process must end with a plan of action.
The value of a brainstorming session is not in the number of elements you generate but in applying further decisions.