Mastermind Groups are a combination of brainstorming, training, peer engagement and support in a group setting to hone your business and personal skills. A Mastermind Group helps you and your group members achieve success. Members challenge each other to set strong goals, and most importantly, to achieve them.
Mastermind Group Facilitators initiate and run the groups. They help the group dive deep into the discussions, and work with the members to create success – however, each member defines it. Facilitators are the secret for Mastermind Groups to thrive. I have seen many groups fail due to poor leadership.
How does a Mastermind Group work?
Through the process of a certified mastermind facilitator, a goal is first created, and then a plan is devised to achieve it. The group helps you with creative ideas and wise decisions. Then, when you start to implement your plan, you bring both success stories and problems to the group. Success stories are applauded (loudly!), and problems are solved through peer-to-peer brainstorming and collective, creative thinking.
The group requires commitment, confidentiality, a willingness to give and receive advice and ideas, and support each other with complete honesty, respect, and compassion. Mastermind Group members act as catalysts for growth, defenders from the devil, and supportive colleagues. This is the essence and value of Mastermind Groups.
Each meeting has an agenda so that conversations stay focused. The Facilitator has the task of making sure that the conversations are deep and balanced, and that all the topics on the agenda of the Mastermind Groups meetings are covered in the allotted time.
What is not a Mastermind Group?
To clarify what can be obtained from the group, it is important to know what not to expect from it.
It is not a class. Although your group may vote to bring in occasional guest speakers and professionals, the main focus of a Mastermind Group is brainstorming and supporting accountability among group members.
It is not a networking group. Although members may occasionally share contact information, this is not the main focus of the meetings. Still, as members get to know each other better and find synergies, it’s not uncommon for opportunities for joint ventures, sharing leads, and making lasting professional or even personal contacts to emerge.
It is not a training group or a master class. Mastermind Groups are for members to share with each other, not for the Facilitator to train individuals in a group. You get everyone’s feedback, advice and support. Yes, if the Facilitator is an expert on the subject, of course, he can participate and contribute. But his main mission is to keep the conversation balanced between all the members and guarantee the dynamics of the group.
What is the right size for a Mastermind Group?
For a Mastermind Group to be effective, it is necessary that the participants feel free to share confidential information, plans, and strategies, … about what they are achieving and what they want to do. That implies that the group must be small and stable.
It is recommended a group of between 4 and 6 participants plus the facilitator. If they are less, the value that others will contribute may be little. If there are more, you will lose that feeling of trust that will limit what people will dare to share.
It is also vital for the group that people in similar professional situations participate. It does not make sense that a person who is devising his professional project is in the same group as someone who has a company developed with an important team. In such a case, the contributions that some could make would most of the time be inapplicable to others. In both directions.
I have seen huge mega Mastermind Groups (200-500 members) that are true Mastermind Groups. They are designed so that individuals can gain personal attention and the power of brainstorming, problem-solving, and group responsibility. But it takes a lot of clever logistics (not to mention a few facilitators to run the hot seats), so not all large group programs can call themselves true Mastermind Groups.