Your business and personal success can be strengthened and accelerated through the support of others. Mastermind groups provide a useful structure for such purposes. That has been my experience and that of many of my professional speaking colleagues. I have enjoyed and benefited from a number of mastermind groups–an international one, a personal one, an emotionally focused one and two business focused.
Masterminding is a business, career or personal development strategy introduced in the 1930s by Napoleon Hill who was commissioned by Andrew Carnegie to study the patterns of extremely successful people. To learn more, read Hill’s Think and Grow Rich.
Seven Benefits of a Mastermind Group:
- Provides answers to questions and stretches your personal and business possibilities.
- Offers a safe and confidential place to discuss challenges and solve problems.
- Creates a forum to tap into the knowledge, experience, and talents of others.
- Allows you to receive encouragement and acknowledgment.
- Allows you to receive timely feedback, which can save you from making significant mistakes, or at least wasting time.
- Helps keep you accountable to your progress and goal achieving.
- Creates a sense of connection and like-minded community.
Mastermind with those who:
- Have at least one commonality with you. Example: New entrepreneurs
- Are generally at a similar success level. If you have one person who is advanced, he or she will probably become resentful of the inevitable helping role. Consider inviting that person to your group as a one time, expert guest.
- Will commit to the time, guidelines, and mutual support of the group.
- Ready to take action and ready for their challenge, change, and growth.
Structure to Create Accountability, Safety, and Momentum:
- Ideal Group Size Number: Five seems like the best number of participants. If one person is missing, the group is still viable and when all are together it works well to share air time.
- Goals: Be clear about what you want to gain and what you have to offer to the group.
- Participate: Decide as a group how often and how long you want to meet. Be as active as you can without monopolizing. Remember to listen.
- Confidentiality: Sharing what you learn and gain can be exciting and useful. However, please keep other members’ sharing confidential. Feel free to tell the world your own story.
- Take Equal Turns: Give each person your full attention. No side talking. Keep to agreed time allotments.
- Be Consistent: Attend all meetings and stay to the end.
Suggested Meeting Process:
- Check in. Share one success since the last meeting.
- Divide meeting time equally less 5 minutes for the close. Take turns as a timer.
- Focus person states issue or requests giving some background information.
- Group asks clarifying questions.
- Group asks, “How can we help?”
- Focus person states clearly, “I want you to…” and then listens to the responses. Note taking is highly recommended. If brainstorming ideas are requested, see ideas below.
- Focus person summarizes insights and action items(s) he or she will take.
- Repeat for each member
- Close. Each member commits to at least one action item to be accomplished before the next meeting. Confirm time, date and location of next meeting.
- All: Agree to a time frame for completion.
- Focus person: Clearly identify what problem or desire you want to be addressed. All ideas are valid and should be acknowledged. Merely say, “Thank you,” and write ideas down or ask someone to record for you. Avoid using up valuable time discussing why some ideas won’t work. Choose the idea that is the best fit and commit to reporting back.
- Group: Generate new ideas. Keep the energy going. No judging or interrupting idea sharing.
If you have had a Mastermind experience, please share it here with my readers. Let me know what has worked well and has not worked out. What was the biggest benefit for you?