People vastly overrate the importance of facilitation in group process. Preparation and practice are much more important. While good group process always has an element of emergence, when I observe or hear stories about processes or meetings that go bad, I can almost always trace it to poor preparation.
I was recently talking about this with my sister and my partner, and my sister compared it to a duck gliding in water. It looks seamless on the surface, but it belies the rigorous, consistent paddling underneath. “Yes, that’s it!” I exclaimed. Both my sister and my partner were incredulous that I had never heard of that metaphor before, but I don’t care. I love it!