The following list is not a declaration of what the powers of the facilitator role should be; rather, it is an acknowledgement of some of the powers that tend to come with the role. Brainstormed by the PDX Lab Series group.

Powers of the Facilitator Role

The facilitator often “gets to” (or is expected to):

  • be privy to more information
  • agenda structure, planning, sequence & content
  • choose space, set up room
  • define group process characteristics
  • frame the topic
  • choose move/direction
  • choose how deep to go
  • interpret process/meaning
  • speak the unspoken (name uncomfortable things)
  • assign value
  • decide reflective and break moments
  • respond to input, or not
  • self-define as having power
  • talk more
  • interrupt others
  • act as enforcer of rules


Tree Bressen
Eugene, Oregon