I recently facilitated an annual planning session for a client. During our debrief after the session, the team shared that it was one of their most productive annual planning sessions. I asked them to share with me what we did differently that worked so well. “Well, first, the outcome is awesome. We all know what we are supposed to do and are totally aligned about what we want to get done this year.” They shared with me that having an outside facilitator made a world of difference as I helped them avoid a number of pitfalls they encountered when they ran their own planning meetings. These pitfalls cost them dearly in time and money, two very precious resources! I distilled our debrief into five pitfalls that having a facilitator helped them avoid.