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Individuals and groups can frankly be wrong, when they think they are right. Professional facilitators get groups to focus on the conflict of the issues and ideas rather than the conflict between the people advocating those ideas. At the same time, they need to guard against bias.

Why We Need Trained, Professional Facilitators Who Can Guard Against Bias

Guard Against Bias

The chance of error when making complex decisions is amplified by the amount of data required to support the decision  Properly facilitated, groups of people can see through the fog clearer than those biased with the information they bring to a meeting or workshop.

Note the following impactful biases cited by the World Future Society in its March-April 2013 edition of “The Futurist.”

Bias Factors Affecting Group Decision-Making:

  •   Confusing desirability and familiarity with probability
  •   Cost of detailed primary research, leading to shortcuts
  •   Distortion of data by media through selection and repetition
  •   Forecaster’s bias which involves a preference for change or patterns
  •   Homogenization of distinct multiple data sources (for cost savings)
  •   Lack of clear confidence intervals (how clean the data is)
  •   Mistaking correlation for causation (a very common error)
  •   Organizational biases
  •   Over-immersion in local social values or perceptions
  •   Political research sponsorship
  •   Preconceptions—framing complex issues in a skewed fashion (selective perception)

Professional facilitators help objectify the subject matter experts’ points of view with challenge and structured discussion.They help depersonalize issues from people, so that ideas can stand on their own merit and value, not inflated by the charisma of persuasive participants.


Don’t ruin your career or reputation with bad meetings. Register for a class or forward this to someone who should. Taught by world-class instructors, MG RUSH  professional facilitation curriculum focuses on practice. Each student thoroughly practices and rehearses tools, methods, and approaches throughout the week. While some call this immersion, we call it the road to building impactful facilitation skills.

Our courses also provide an excellent way to earn up to 40 SEUs from the Scrum Alliance, 40 PDUs from PMI, and 40 CDUs from IIBA, as well as 3.2 CEUs for other professions. (See individual class descriptions for details.)

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Facilitation Expert

Terrence Metz, CSM, PSPO, CSPF, is the Managing Director of MG RUSH Facilitation Training and Coaching, the acknowledged leader in structured facilitation training. His FAST Facilitation Best Practices blog features over 300 articles on facilitation skills and tools aimed at helping others lead faster, more productive meetings and workshops that yield higher quality decisions. His clients include Agilists, Scrum teams, program and project managers, senior officers, and the business analyst community among numerous private and public companies and global corporations. As an undergraduate of Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and MBA graduate from NWU’s Kellogg School of Management, his professional experience has focused on process improvement and product development. He continually aspires to make it easier for others to succeed.

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