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is a facilitator
who helps a group deal with issues involving the process
in a meeting
, rather than the task
s. He or she is a specialized type of consultant
Role in Small Group Development
A process consultant may be used at any time during the Stages of Group Development
. Occasionally, a process consultant is used when a group is either in its formative stage, or normative stage. However, more often than not, she or he is brought in when the group is in conflict
Role in Conflict Resolution
Often a group finds itself in conflict
. It is the role of the process consultant to help the group reach consensus
over the type of conflict it faces.
Once the type of conflict is identified, the process consultant then helps the group work through the steps required to break the impasse.
It is important to note that the process consultant's role is not to solve the problem, but to help the group solve its own problem. The reason for this is because it is the group, not the consultant who will have to live with the consequences
of its decision.
Role in Conflict Management
Occasionally, due to the nature of conflict, the process consultant may need to guide the group toward conflict management
rather than conflict resolution
Initially a process consultant will not lead or participate in a group meeting, but rather will act as an observer
. During this time, he or she is observing the group dynamics
to detrmine what interpersonal
relationships may be contributing to the group's issues.
At some point, s/he will begin to actively participate in the meeting, by asking clarifying questions or paraphrasing
. Eventually, s/he will make his/her observations known by giving the group feedback
To enter this field, a background in psychology
and small group learning
is helpful. Experience in reading body language
and possessing analytic
skills is also useful. However, receiving some training in experiential education
will probably be the most benefit.
*Block, Peter (1981), Flawless Consulting,
University Associates, IncCategory:businessCategory:conflictCategory:consulting