- Process consultant
organization development, a process consultant is a facilitatorwho helps a group deal with issues involving the process in a meeting, rather than the tasks. 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
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 managementrather 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 dynamicsto determine what interpersonalrelationships 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
psychologyand small group learningis helpful. Experience in reading body languageand possessing analyticskills is also useful. However, receiving some training in experiential educationwill probably be the most beneficial.
*Block, Peter (1981), "Flawless Consulting," University Associates, Inc
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