Teamwork Roles: Facilitator, Recorder, and Timekeeper

The facilitator helps the group focus and assures both that all may participate and that none dominate. The facilitator should remain neutral. Choosing a competent facilitator ... helps build trust among group members, and facilitates dialogue and decision-making. The facilitator manages the time for each discussion in accordance with the agenda, so the facilitator also needs to be able to contain and end discussion when necessary.

Much time is wasted if no record is kept of decisions and assignments. Assign the role of recorder to someone who can listen and be objective and accurate. The recorder needs to ... be able to summarize and write down only what is important. An effective recorder may write notes of the discussion on flip chart paper in full view of attendees or take notes on a laptop and project them on a screen for participants to see. Transparency in recording helps reassure the group that its deliberations are being fairly and competently reflected in the notes.

The role of timekeeper is to help the facilitator move the group through the agenda. This reduces the amount of stress on the facilitator ... who must manage the discussion. Telling someone that their time has expired is always hard to do, but it is often an essential discipline.