Robert C. Mueller, ESQ.  |  Phone: 443.994.7266

217 Upper Mill Court Centreville, MD 21617


FAQs - Facilitation

“Facilitation” is a process in which a trained and experienced facilitator, who is not himself or herself a stakeholder, plans, develops, and runs a structured and effective meeting that produces a clear result that is commonly understood and supported by all participants.

Most any meeting that involves at least a handful of people with varying ideas or views benefits from having a facilitator. It might be a meeting of just a couple or a few hours that is focused on a narrow and specific question; it might be a meeting that is part of a larger project; it could be a part-day or a full-day planning retreat. It might be a meeting to plan a large and noteworthy family event; it might be a meeting to solve a particular workplace issue; it might be a session in a long series of meetings to develop or redesign a whole new operation; it might be a neighborhood or community gathering to address an issue that has quality-of-life consequences.

The facilitator’s role is to bring careful planning and a logical structure to the meeting. After pre-session interviews with the participants, the facilitator will identify the purpose and goals of the meeting and plan a process that will permit full expression of ideas and views in a discussion that will funnel those views to points of general agreement and support. In short, while many meetings more resemble a casual and rambling conversation, a facilitated meeting is structured in a manner that begins with open expression and acknowledgement of a range of ideas and concerns, and leads the participants in a process that focuses on a decision or result that accommodates those ideas.

Bob’s fee is based on an hourly rate of $250. The rate applies to hours in which Bob interviews the participants, as well as hours in which he is actively planning and conducting the session. It does NOT apply to travel time or to usual telephone conversations that are administrative or scheduling in nature.

Facilitations vary considerably in the required planning and preparation, and of course vary somewhat on the length of the session or sessions. Bob will discuss the scope of the facilitation with the meeting’s sponsor and, based on that discussion, provide the sponsor with an estimate of Bob’s time commitment and fee for the undertaking. If, along the way, Bob foresees that they have underestimated the commitment, he will raise this with the sponsor so that the sponsor may decide how to proceed. In most cases, the fee is due at the conclusion of the meeting or project, and is based only on the hours actually devoted to preparation and meeting time – if the time spent was less than anticipated, the fee that is due will be less than the estimated fee. In unusually complex or lengthy projects, partial payment of fees may be requested for time spent to that point.