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Ensure Your Next Retreat Makes Forward Progress

Do you eagerly await your next board or staff retreat, or does the idea make you groan? Do you want to jump-start discussions, make your meetings more interactive, or most importantly, increase the likelihood of successful meeting outcomes that can be acted upon after the room empties?  You are certainly not alone. An experienced meeting facilitator can make all the difference—and the benefits can be enormous. Here are a few:

  • During the retreat, staff or board can step out of their roles and participate fully in the meeting because they are not running it!
  • As part of the preparation process for the meeting,  a facilitator can help to think through the desired goals and outcomes of the meeting and how to achieve consensus.
  • A facilitator can also help you think about format, what materials should be distributed in advance, and whether the desired outcomes would benefit from ice breakers, small group work or other activities.

A good facilitator is neutral and unbiased—it is someone who does not hold a stake in the outcome of the meeting. They do not know about the quirks of your board or staff, and they invite all points of view.  Their objective is solely to plan and guide your meeting to a productive and successful outcome. If you have a single meeting or a series that would benefit from objective, outside expertise, contact Julia Lu (jlu@supportcenteronline.org or 917-522-8308) to discuss engaging one of our experienced nonprofit consultants.

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