What Is Facilitation?

Pádraig Cleary

Pádraig Cleary

My favourite definition of facilitation comes from A. Glenn Kiser:-

“Whether it’s a group of corporate executives doing strategic planning for a multimillion dollar business, a non-profit board struggling with developing a mission statement, a small company experiencing growth pains; a professional sport team whose players are squabbling, or family members trying to resolve some conflict, the parties involved in solving problems or bringing about change often recognise a need to call on an objective third party to help the progress toward desired objectives.

Although they may not know the word or use it directly, they need a facilitator. This third party may be called a consultant, a mediator, a helper or a friend. But his or her primary objective is always the same: to assist the person or group requesting help to create a scenario that is different for the current state”.

A. Glenn Kiser “Masterful Facilitation – Becoming A Catalyst For Meaningful Change” ©1998.

Facilitation Helps Teams and Groups

  • Create scenarios that are different to the current state
  • Remove barriers to making real progress
  • Address complex issues and challenges that may cut across an organisation
  • Maximise members’ time together
  • Make paradigm shifts
  • Focus on what matters
  • Respect and nurture participants and thereby bring out their best
  • Be truly creative

10 Critical Areas Where Facilitation Can Make A Difference

Where team thinking-group work is essential to developing

1 – Strategic Marketing Plans
2 – Business Plans

Where group creativity is needed to

3 – Solve seemingly intractable problems
4 – Achieve consensus on “hard to decide” issues
5 – Generate ideas for new products or services; for cost savings and for increasing sales

Where organisational change requires

6 – The empowerment of individuals to embrace the possibilities of change
7 – Listening processes to identify and address members’ concerns about impeding change
8 – Teams to find ways to work together more effectively

Where wider stakeholder consultation seeks to

9 – Communicate effectively organisation plans, strategies etc
10 – Secure “buy-in” for change

Why May Day Management Facilitation today?

Following 8-10 years of stagnation and survival thinking, organisations are “coming out of their shells” as business and consumer confidence returns. Whether it’s a for-profit enterprise or a not-for-profit organisation, management teams’ thoughts are again towards renewal, expansion and growth!

This is where May Day can help by providing cost efficient, project based expert facilitation to teams now looking to develop new business and marketing strategy; innovate; solve problems and to embrace change.

Our Facilitation Processes

  • Produce measurable results, paradigm shifts, new thinking and clarity that your group or organisation may not be capable of generating on their own
  • Will deliver on your objectives
  • Engage even the most reluctant participants
  • Are built on many years experience of working with a wide spectrum of organisations and teams across manufacturing and services (for profit and not-for-profit)
  • Are professional and respectful of your time and your teams’ commitment and personal engagement in the facilitation

Finally we create safe, playful and confidential environments for facilitation – issues are challenged but not people!


Contact Pádraig Cleary, May Day Management Consultants on

Tel: +353 87 258 3325
Email: padraig@maydaymanagement.ie || Skype: padraig.cleary365