Neutral facilitators can re-frame and clarify statements more easily than the parties if the situation becomes stressful.
Often parties to a dispute have difficulty communicating.
A neutral facilitator can assist the parties in communicating in a non-adversarial manner. Neutral facilitators may be lawyers, mental health professionals or communications coaches. The facilitator should be chosen according to the needs of the parties.
(GREASING THE WHEELS)
When parties meet to tackle a sensitive issue or dispute, a neutral facilitator can sometimes mean the difference in the success or failure of the meeting. Consideration should be given regarding the use of neutral facilitators when two
or more parties with or without attorneys:
must approach a controversial subject;
want to follow an agenda and stay on track;
wish to avoid getting bogged down in a single issue;
know volatile personalities will be present;
need input from everyone present; or
desire to avoid one person dominating the conversation.
The duties of a neutral facilitator can be planned to suit the needs of the situation. Neutral facilitators are able to assist in preparing agendas and may also act as conveners when necessary.
Meetings suited for the use of neutral facilitators are:
collaborative and cooperative face-to-face sessions;
partnership, board of directors or stock holders meetings;
contract negotiations; annual shareholders meetings of organizations and
corporations; and any type settlement or negotiation conference that
involves sensitive issues and/or several parties.
Facilitators in Ongoing Relationships: Some families or parties in business relationships must have continuing conversations regarding caring for a family member or making business decisions, and the parties, for whatever reason, do not communicate well. A Neutral Facilitator can keep everyone informed by privately presenting information and options to each party, allowing each one to digest the information, and taking responses back to the other parties. This avoids the parties from feeling they have been "ambushed" or put on the spot by the other party. Ugly confrontations are replaced with thoughtful responses.