7 Easy Steps to run a Mastermind group
1-STRUCTUREWhy we all crave it. Without structure, there is often little benefit from most meetings you attend. They tend to drift, have a lack of purpose or outcome and can make people anxious if there is no defined purpose. Stating the structure in advance also allows everyone to prepare questions and ideas that they think will be relevant. This makes the meeting more productive. People need to feel comfortable with what is expected of them and what they may be asked to do. Often, it’s harder to get things done on the fly during a meeting and this again creates uncertainty and confusion. All of this leads to the perception that a mastermind group without structure provides far less value than it actually would if you had an agreed, consistent formula in place.
2-FLOWStay in flow. Flow is critical to getting the most out of any activity. We all work at a different pace and learning speeds. However, a mastermind meeting needs to be succinct and move at a reasonable pace. It needs to stay in flow. One of the best ways to do this is to prep the basics in advance. Ensure that you refer to the structure before and during the meeting. Also, keep a close eye on the timing of each section. Ideally, you want to allocate a dedicated time-keeper to ensure maximum flow. As you will have multiple people within the mastermind, each small delay compounds and also impacts EVERYONE.
3-THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF TIMEToo short or too long? What’s the right amount of time to run a mastermind? This depends on the frequency and the needs of the group. If you are meeting weekly then approx. 60 minutes per week is ideal. If your mastermind only meets fortnightly you may want to increase the run time to between 60-90 minutes. If you are meeting monthly then 90-180 minutes would be better. The reason that you want to increase the time when the gap between mastermind is longer, is to compensate for the time since you were last in contact with each other. Therefore you need more time to find the rhythm, get back into flow. Most likely you will have more information to share and discuss as you catch up on all the news from the past month.
4-KNOW YOUR AUDIENCEWho are the people in your mastermind? Do you know their disc profile, specific needs or wants? their desires? What keeps them up at night? What are the common frustrations, problems and worries that they have and that a mastermind can help them with? Expectations have YOU set for YOUR mastermind and what type of habits do you want to encourage, nurture or instigate. You need to take the time to know your audience (if you are either in a mastermind or looking to set one up) The biggest issue we see is people feel “overwhelmed” in their business and day to day lives and it’s one of the key “excuses” for not joining a mastermind. Ironically, it’s the ONE thing that they should be actively working on. So take the time to learn more about your audience and create some deeper connections before, during and after your mastermind sessions.
5-HIGH ENERGY (AND POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT)Excitement, fun, energy- If you are spending 60-90 minutes in a Mastermind you want to leave energized and motivated, not drained. We feed off each other’s energy and excitement.So look for people that are going to bring all these attributes into the group. This is a key factor that is often ignored. If you don’t work on the energy levels it’s highly likely that your group will not feel inspired after each meeting. The BEST masterminds are the ones that have great energy levels. Have a few creative triggers to increase the energy. Sales seminars do this really well, getting people to stand up, clap or some other kind of activity to stimulate the blood. If you run a mastermind group for longer than 90 minutes you should incorporate some kind of mini-break into the structure.
6-KISS PRINCIPAL (Keep It Simple Stupid)Don’t overwhelm them. Outcomes need to be specific, measurable, and actionable – similar to smart goals. Don’t overwhelm your group with too much information too soon, or too many things to say or actions to take. When you run a mastermind group for the first time its best to start with just the basics. Then after a few session, when you have built up the habit of attendance, slowly add additional layers or complexity into your mastermind. When everyone is comfortable with the structure and flow, you can get more creative and add new actions, challenges or goals.
7-THE RIGHT PEOPLEWho are the right people to be in a mastermind group? We assume that the best way to solve our problems would be to find one right person who will have all the answer. The simple process of creating a diverse group has been proven to be a far better way to solve our problems. You need each person in the mastermind to think and act as independently as possible. Grouping similarly intelligent people together also doesn’t always work out, because similar people often resemble each other too closely in how they think and act, paradoxically making the group less smart. Allowing members who know less, but have a different skill set, has been scientifically proven to improve any group’s performance. Groups that are too much alike find it harder to keep learning, because each member is bringing less and less to the table. They spend too much time exploiting, and not enough time exploring. Even if a member is biased and slightly irrational as long as they’re independent, they won’t make the group any dumber. So taking all this science into consideration remember to be open-minded about who you think may or may not be considered the “right” kind of person for your mastermind tribe, especially if you run one that is niche specific and are inviting people from similar industry. Adding that outlier or maverick that you may have originally dismissed outright, could be exactly what the group needs.
“Some people get an education without going to college, the rest get it after they get out. Mark Twain”