Power imbalances exist.
Recognizing the different levels of authority and volume at the table, it is important to ensure that the ideas of less powerful members are afforded opportunities to be heard and considered in ways that minimize risks or repercussions to individuals willing to step forward.
Individual needs are sometimes at odds with collective needs.
Extreme intolerance for process can truncate thoughtful discussion, while extreme inclination toward process can delay a group’s ability to develop concrete outcomes. Participants uncomfortable with the pace and process set by the facilitator often lose interest or stop participating. Despite these and other differences, thoughtful process design and facilitator alertness to oppositional views and behaviors can keep a group on track.
The potential exists for a project to fail.
Despite the best design, facilitation, and group effort, projects can still fail to achieve the stated goals. However, even a loss can become a win when participants leave the “failed” process with new skills or helpful relationships that affect future problem-solving efforts.