A mastermind group is a group of people who actively help each other solve individual problems and issues. They are a support group. From my experience running such groups in a business context here are the key aspects of what makes a mastermind group work well:
The group needs to have a common purpose which needs to be clearly defined and agreed. Each group member needs to ensure this maps against their own personal objectives for being in the group and be committed to the overall success of the group.
The group should see itself as a peer group. Although they might (and should) have different skills and expertise they should each bring something from their skills or expertise to the group that is valued by the others.
It is important that members get to know and trust each other. This takes time (usually 3-4 meetings) before the quality of issues and feedback increases. For this reason having a closed group of members is key.
Guidelines & Facilitation
Someone needs to be clearly in charge otherwise the group will get easily distracted. There need to be clear ‘rules of engagement’ the group can easily become a talking shop. This includes having a clear agenda which the groups sticks to.
The mark of a successful mastermind group is the quality of facilitation. Having a process that you go through is essential so that issues can be raised rather than symptoms, clear feedback given by all the group members and relevant actions agreed to.
Having regular meetings is important. We tend to run meetings on a monthly basis on the same day of the month just because it makes life easier for the members.
Commitment & Accountability
Each group member has to be committed to the success of the whole group. Members have to commit to coming to each meeting, agreeing to behave as agreed, be prepared to help other members. In short they need to ‘show up’ each time.
In addition each group member must feel and be accountable to the group for any actions they commit to. It is not enough to have members go away with action lists – it is vital that progress against these actions is reviewed in subsequent meetings.
So what of the benefits? See next blog.