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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    facilitate the discussion

    Hi,

    Could anyone please tell me what "faciliate" means here?

    As you facilitate the discussion, guide the youth toward the take-home point that being aware of base feeling tones gives one more of a heads up that a specific emotions is about to arise, or has arisen, and, in turn, gives one more of the ability to respondórather than reactóto it.

    Thanks

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    #2

    Re: facilitate the discussion

    Your quotation is full of vocabulary that was trendy a few years ago; so much so that it almost reads as a parody. In this context, facilitate means "moderate" or just "lead". It's four times better than the latter (at least by syllable count).

    The people who promote "facilitate" in place of lead dislike the latter term because they see it as implying a hierarchy: the leader is somehow above the others in the group. In their minds, a facilitator is merely a member of the group who happens to intervene a bit here and there to keep the conversation moving.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: facilitate the discussion

    Not necessarily a member of the group. It could be an outsider brought in specifically to help the group achieve some goal.

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    #4

    Re: facilitate the discussion

    I think that, in the minds of people who promote this kind of language, even an outside facilitator is a member of the group undergoing facilitation, if only temporarily. I find leader much more direct and descriptive of what the person is actually supposed to do.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: facilitate the discussion

    I don't agree, at least not with the facilitating I am familiar with. A company may want to figure out a better way to have their accountants process invoices, for example. A facilitator helps the group come to understand what they do and how they can do it better. But that facilitator is not an accountant or a member of the accounting staff.

    Someone who facilitates a discussion among a group of youths (as the original post stated) is probably not one of the youths themselves.

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    #6

    Re: facilitate the discussion

    Dave, I agree with you that the facilitator is not really a member of the group undergoing a facilitated discussion. I'm just thinking about why the term "facilitator" exists at all, given that the perfectly functional term "leader" has been around forever. A leader leads a discussion; a facilitator facilitates one. Functionally they do the same thing.

    My assertion here is that the term was invented by people who found the idea of a leader an uncomfortable reminder of an implicit hierarchy. A facilitator, in their minds, gently guides the discussion by finding ways to move it forward; a leader, by contrast, barks out orders to force compliance. During the discussion, a facilitator is just one member of the group of people discussing something, a member who has been given (non-hierarchically, of course) the task of guiding the discussion.
    I am not a teacher.

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