In this article, we provide you with 1) a brief introduction to mastermind groups, 2) a list of its benefits, 3) how a mastermind group works, and 4) how to start and run your mastermind group.
AN INTRODUCTION TO MASTERMIND GROUP
A mastermind group is a platform where several participants meet with a common goal to share, understand, learn and improve their performance in their respective fields. These meetings turn out be a wonderful synergy of commitment and energy. The members of a Mastermind group get a chance to share their opinions, ideas, queries, successes, and downfalls. Each member gets an opportunity to learn something new from everyone’s experience. They also garner wisdom and knowledge from these group discussions. Generally, these groups are divided into three sections namely; the beginning, middle and the end.
In the beginning, every person gets an opportunity to share briefly their goals from the previous meetings. The middle part of the discussion centers on the complications, issues and queries of a person’s situation. Finally, the meeting ends when every individual shares their goals about the upcoming meetings. The structure of the group meetings might vary, but the basic idea remains the same.
What a mastermind group is not
Very often, we mistake the idea of mastermind group for several common groups like a class, coaching or networking group. However, these groups are not mastermind groups. Here’s why they aren’t.
A mastermind group is not a class because here the group members can always vote for bringing in new teachers and new guest speakers from time to time. The main focus of this group is not basic teaching but brainstorming and providing support to other members of the group.
This group is also quite different from a regular coaching class. Here, the teachers don’t coach the group members, rather, the members share their individual experiences with each other. This group gives you an opportunity to achieve everyone’s support, guidance, and feedbacks through small discussions. Yes. There might be a facilitator who’s an expert on the topic. However, he too, will eventually chime into the group. At the end of the day, the conversation is supposed to be balanced among all group members.
Although this group deals with sharing interesting leads and resources, yet, it is not a networking group. However, while sharing your experiences and developing connections with other group members, you will find a wide gamut of wonderful opportunities and professional networking.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A MASTERMIND GROUP?
There are several benefits of attending or even running a mastermind group. To name a few:
- Consistent mutual support: Well, this is the main USP of a mastermind group. Although these groups are focused on a specific activity, yet, with differing goals, you will get a chance to count on other group members for consistent mutual support. For instance, when your progress on a specific goal has considerably slacked down, it is only the members of the mastermind group, who will understand what’s happening in your life. With their help and support, you will no longer feel ‘alone’ in the business. On top of that, your group members too will turn out to be viable advisors for your business. The best part: They will also provide their valuable and insightful advice that would help you in the long run.
- Conflicting opinions: The most remarkable part of a mastermind group is it’s unique and out of the box perspectives. Hearing different and conflicting opinions of your fellow mastermind group members will open newer vistas for you. With these conversations, you will be able to see all those issues about which you were not aware of otherwise. In this way, your perspective about life and your approach to your goals might change. Whether you agree with the assessments or not, yet, they are likely to provide you better and improved understanding of your approach.
- Ample resources: This is another reason you should join a mastermind group. These groups usually come with a lot of resources. This is mostly because everyone in the group will access a different skill set and an entirely different group of people. Quite interestingly, this is exactly what will come handy. You will find that while asking for help in mastermind groups, these resources would help you to progress in ways you would have never opted for by yourself. Thus, if you want to access newer and more useful resources that would come handy in fulfilling your goals, joining a mastermind group can be a great option.
- More accountable: Yes. Joining a mastermind group makes you much more accountable in many ways. Your fellow group members will hold you accountable to the goals you’ve set. On top of that, the fact that you have a regular and scheduled meeting, will drive you internally and compel you to make progress. Thus, your projects too are likely to move forward with the right kind of mastermind groups.
- Greater collaboration: Although mastermind group does not aim networking, yet, it also ends up with greater and better collaboration. Here, you might find someone in this group who is a perfect fit for your current/upcoming project. At the same time, you too can be the perfect help for another person. As the group works collaboratively, they get better chances to achieve success together.
- Newer scopes of learning: Almost all of us strive to learn better and a mastermind group exactly fulfills this opportunity. Everyone in this group is unique with respect to skills, talents, experience and networks. By healthy interactions and by sharing your goals and challenges, it is almost certain that someone in the group will have the right solution for you. At the same time, you too can have a solution or a marketing tactic for someone else.
- Exclusive community: This is exactly what is special about a mastermind group. This group lets you be a part of an entirely exclusive community. So, you get a chance to mingle amidst better quality experiences and better scopes of wisdom.
- Think big: A mastermind group fosters the basic idea of thinking big. It helps you to think big. It helps you to think beyond your comfort zone. It helps you to think out of the box.
HOW DOES A MASTERMIND GROUP WORK?
Mastermind groups work when the group members schedule time-to-time meetings and participate in those meetings regularly. Here, the group members can meet and interact with fellow members in person. At the same time, they can also communicate via telephone, Skype, social media and every other online message boards. For the groups that involve meeting in person or over the phone, a once-in-a-month meeting is fixed. This meeting is held for a considerable period of time, where the group members can communicate, collaborate and share their conflicting opinions. Again, the meetings that are held via social media or online message boards are held once a week or once a fortnight.
A mastermind group may or may not follow a specific structure. However, in order to make the group work, a consistent commitment is required. You have to make sure that your group has highly-motivated individuals who are not only willing to help, but are also looking forward to help. You should choose members who are compassionate and supportive enough. Conflict of opinions can always take place. However, they should never overpower the supportive nature of the group members. In simpler words, a mastermind group will only work if proper meetings are held and if the group members regularly show up in the meetings.
How are applicants screened?
In order to run your Mastermind group successfully, you will also have to ensure a thorough screening of the applicants. This screening is usually done in order to make sure that the members fit into an existing and that their commitment level is extremely high. Before starting the procedure of screening, decide how many members you want in the group (5-6 members is recommended). Also, while allowing new members to the group make sure that they join owing to everyone’s unanimous consent. You should also ask the follow questions to the prospective members of the group;
- Will this group deal with your personal mission, business mission or a value vision?
- What do you aim to do in the coming three years?
- How and where will you find the chance and time to participate in the group discussions of a mastermind group?
- Why should you be the right choice for this group?
- How committed are you in expanding your business and also in your personal life?
Even with these questions, you might end up with shady individuals who claim to be committed but never manage time. Also, be prepared to ask a member to leave the group if they’re not participating actively. This is because; a slow/inactive member can bring down the entire energy level of the group.
HOW TO START A MASTERMIND GROUP?
In order to start a Mastermind group, you will have to adhere to the following guidelines.
Step #1: Choose a topic. No mastermind group can survive if it does not come with a concrete and proper topic. So, in order to start a group, you will have to begin with a right topic. This topic can be either narrow or broad as per your preference and the preference of your group members. If you’re just getting started with mastermind groups, we would recommend you to pick on the particular aspect of your life and start with it. Whether it is fitness, career, school; life or some other broader and vaster area; you have to be smart with the topic. Also, if you’re more interested in a business goal, you can also go for a topic related to your business or professional sphere.
Step #2: Choose the members wisely. A Mastermind Group can only be good if it has good members. The goodness of the members defines the goodness of the group. Try to screen people, and in doing so, try to choose people who have a similar interest and who are driven by similar goals. This might apparently seem difficult. However, with so many social media websites, ending up with the right members is no big hassle at all. Try to choose members who are driven by their goals and who are serious about their commitments. There’s no point in choosing people who do not take their commitments seriously. While choosing these individuals also, make sure that they have diverse skills and talents. They should also be supportive and compassionate enough to help others. In simpler words, you should choose an individual who not only comes with the mentioned skills but is also active. Their energetic attitude will charge up the entire energy of the group. So, pick your group members with care.
Step #3: Create a structure. Yes. In order to make your group successful and in order to make it work, you will have to create a proper structure. There should be a structure in the meetings held and the discussions taking place. Everything should follow an order. At the same time, you should also create a couple of ground rules. As members, everyone should follow and adhere to the rules. However, don’t be too hard while figuring out the rules. Always remember that the rules are not meant to stifle any member. On the contrary, they are meant only to benefit the members. You should come up with a loose set of ground rules that does not conflict with the mutual respect of the individuals. In simpler words, you have to make sure that these rules keep everyone in the same and right line. However, if you feel like it, you can also come up with strict and more intense rules. But make sure, everything falls in the right structure.
Step #4: Meet and share your ideas. Well, now that your mastermind group is ready, you will simply have to start meeting the members according to the specified or the pre-decided schedule. Meeting will not only open opportunities to come across newer people, but it also lets you share your individual ideas. Again, these meetings lead to discussions that give you newer perspectives about an already known topic. While meeting group members and sharing ideas, make sure that these meetings take place in a properly scheduled time. Choose a time slot and make sure that everyone is punctual. This will keep your group active and going.
Besides these guidelines, you should also ensure that every member is given equal time for conversation and sharing their views. Again, none of them should be interrupted while placing a point. You can always keep an implicit agenda and stay away from the explicit ones. These explicit agendas may not make your group as successful as it could be. You can also choose a facilitator, for better assistance during the discussions. All in all, follow these guidelines and additional insights to enjoy the best from your mastermind group.
HOW TO RUN YOUR MASTERMIND GROUP?
Running your mastermind group involves a lot of efforts. However, if you know the right strategies, there’ll be no looking back for you. Following are a couple of guidelines that’ll help you to run your mastermind group successfully. Check them out.
Meet regularly but precisely. Yes. This is much better than the monthly meets. It keeps everyone in sync, and it also keeps the discussions more active and energetic. In order to run these groups, you should choose a schedule or meeting once a week for 60 minutes. This regular but precise meeting will surely play a vital role in the development of your mastermind group.
Every individual should be provided with equal time. When an individual speaks for a conversation, make sure that they get ample time to place their views. At the same time, make sure that every individual is given the same/equal time. Larger groups might need a timer in this regard. Besides this, you should also make sure that no group member is interrupted during the conversation. Everyone should get an equal chance of placing their views, and they should never be interrupted as interruption distracts the members and ruins the smooth flow of the conversation. It might also lead to disputes. So, it is better to avoid speaking in the middle of a discussion.
Decide whether you need an agenda. While running your mastermind group, you should decide whether you need an agenda for discussion. In case you don’t, individuals can share their general experiences and these experiences will turn out to be useful for one and all.
Decide whether you need a facilitator. A facilitator is usually the person who has profound insights on a specific topic relevant for your group. He is responsible for co-coordinating the group discussions. However, we would recommend you to be your facilitators. All of you can act loosely as facilitators and keep your policies in the right shape. However, you can also go for a facilitator to make the group more scheduled and the group conversations more relevant to the topic.
Besides following these guidelines, you should always have your insights and capacities to understand what has happened throughout the meetings. So follow these viable guidelines to end up with your mastermind group and run it effectively and successfully with the right set of members.