Why use a facilitator or mediator?

"In any two-way conversation there is:
What you wanted to say.
What you meant to say.
What you said.
What you think you said.
What the other person heard you say.
What the other person thinks he heard you say.
What the other person thinks you meant to say.
What the other person feels about what you said.
What the other person says about what you said.
What you think the other person said about what you said."

Communication can be challenging for many reasons. Misunderstanding, misinterpretaton, the use of unfamiliar terms, for example. Also the phenomon of hearing what you want to hear, depending on what you would like the outcome of a conversation to be.

It can be useful, then, to have a disinterested pair of ears at the table. Facilitators and mediators are trained to be nuetral. Without a stake in the outcome, they can work with everyone at the table to make sure that all voices are heard, all comments are understood and all ideas are considered. 

Participants can then ask themselves whether any of the suggested solutions meet their needs. If they find something they can live with, they can reach an agreement.