Facilitation is about helping the group to have an efficient and inclusive meeting. It's also about making sure everyone can be involved in discussions and making decisions.
Facilitation combines a series of roles and tasks. Although this role is usually taken by one person, there is no reason why the roles of facilitator may not be shared among those present. A good facilitator harnesses the group creativity- encouraging participation, and balancing challenge and conviviality. They take care of the logistics of the meeting, preparing the room and creating a convivial environment. They focus the group on the discussion in hand and the decision making process. They pay attention not only to the obvious, but are tuned in to what else might be going on that isn't quite so apparent. They are skilled in interpreting the difficulties, resolving conflict, cutting through time wasting and diversionary tactics and, most importantly, enabling people to reach agreements and develop new practices that will work.