Distinction between Leading and Facilitating (a Conference/Discussion/Meeting

1 These notes use a definition of “facilitate”. It  identifies the follow­ing three objectives which facilitation aims to achieve with respect to helping a group achieve its objectives -

(a) Reduce the communication barriers which stop or delay the group from achieving its objectives

(b) Reduce interpersonal problems

(c) Help Members understand themselves and/or other Members

2 The allocation of these three objectives to leading and facilitating provide one way of distinguishing between these two terms.

3 These notes define facilitate as – any activity (which occurs during a group discussion) which aims to help Members understand themselves and/or other Members. (This definition uses the third objective.)

4 They define conference leading as - any activity (which occurs dur­ing a group discussion) which aims to reduce (a) communication barriers which stop or delay the group from achieving its objectives and (b) interpersonal problems. (This definition uses the first and second objectives.)

5 This distinction rates as an arbitrary one.

6 Other different approaches exist which would create a distinction.

7 One approach would state that conference leading rates as one type of facilitating. In this case, facilitate would include all three ob­jectives and conference leading would include only the first two.

8 Another approach could define the terms as overlapping. Thus Con­ference Leading would include the first and second objectives and fa­cilitate would include the second and third objectives.

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